MLB Pick: Blue Jays to Top Orioles, Take AL East Lead

Jay Pryce

Saturday, July 30, 2016 1:42 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 30, 2016 1:42 PM UTC

The Blue Jays can take the AL East lead with a win over the Orioles this afternoon. Get your free MLB pick for the game here, complete with a full analysis of this game. 

Baltimore Orioles (58-44) – Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.37 ERA)
Yesterday's 6-5 defeat to the Blue Jays snapped a 16 game UNDER streak for the run-starved Orioles. Since July 9, manager Buck Showalter's men are crossing the plate just 2.9 times per contest. Despite cold bats, the Orioles cling to a half-game lead over the high-flying Blue Jays as leaders of the AL East.

Yovani Gallardo is on the bump this afternoon, and will likely need some run support to earn a win. Following his best outing of the year against the Rockies last time out, Gallardo’s 5.37 ERA is the lowest it’s been all season, Earning a no-decision, the former All-Star allowed two earned runs on two hits in 6.2 frames. It was only his second quality start all year.

Gallardo is a perfect 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four career starts against Toronto. The current roster hits the right-hander for a .231 average (40-for-173). Jose Bautista, recently returning to the lineup after a toe injury sidelined him for over a month, owns just one hit in 17 plate appearances. Hard-hitting Edwin Encarnacion, however, is 7-for-19 with three home runs, seven RBI, and zero strikeouts.

The Canadian city has not been very welcoming to the Orioles recently. They are 1-6 in the last seven visits, the Jays slugging in a whopping 7.3 runs per game.

Offensively, Baltimore crosses the plate 5.0 times per contest in 27 meetings against left-handed starters this season, slightly more than there 4.75 average overall. It pegged Happ and the Toronto relief for six runs back in mid-June in a 11-6 defeat at Camden Yards.


Toronto Blue Jays (58-45) – J.A. Happ (13-3, 3.27 ERA)
In the last 30 days, no team is hotter than the Blue Jays. Going 16-8, their 66.7 winning percentage tops MLB. At -160 average MLB odds, bettors are returning 10 percent profit during the run.

J.A. Happ commands the hill for skipper John Gibbons. The Blue Jays are a super team behind the southpaw of late. They’ve won his last eight starts, Happ picking up the decision in all but one. Scoring 9.1 runs per game, the Jays crush opponents by two or more with a 6.3 average winning margin.

Happ is 3-3 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 10 overall appearances (nine starts) versus Baltimore in his career. The current O's roster is 27-for-120 overall (.225) with Chris Davis doing the most damage, going 3-for-9 with all three hits for extra bases.

The UNDER is 6-1 when Happ faces Baltimore in his career, he and the pen allowing 3.3 runs per game. Overall, the score has stayed below the betting market’s number 65 percent of the time (44-24-2) in the southpaw’s career in a Blue Jays uniform.

Final Analysis

Toronto is 9-1 against the point spread at home behind Happ this season, outscoring opponents 7.5 to 3.0. Moreover, every game the right-hander has won at Rogers Centre as the favorite has beaten the run line. We'll jump on the trend at +110. Blue Jays -1.5 is the free MLB pick

SBR YTD: 87-60-4 (-105 Avg. odds); MLB YTD 25-16-2 (+101 Avg. odds)

Free MLB Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 (+111)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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