Orioles Will Extend Toronto's Skid to 6 Games

Willie Bee

Thursday, April 13, 2017 1:42 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 13, 2017 1:42 PM UTC

After splitting a pair in Boston, the Orioles continue their first road trip of the season with four in Toronto and open as slight underdogs on the MLB odds in Thursday night's opener.

MLB Season Record: 0-9 (-9.75)

Rematches don't happen as early in any other professional sport as they do in baseball. We've already seen the Astros and Mariners plus the Diamondbacks and Giants face off twice in home-&-home sets, and there are several more this weekend -- including a long AL East tussle between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays.

The first of a 4-game set gets underway Thursday evening (7:07 PM ET) in Toronto, Kevin Gausman on the hill for Baltimore opposite Francisco Liriano for the Jays. The nickel line at 5Dimes has Toronto -115 with 8½ for the total (O -110). The matchup pits the top and bottom of the AL East, the Orioles leading Tampa Bay by a game at the top while the Jays bring up the rear with a 1-7 record after losing their last five.


Both Starters Having Control Issues In Early Going

Gausman slotted first in Buck Showalter's rotation due to Chris Tillman being on the DL. It has been a bit of a struggle for the former LSU standout Gausman with the opposition scoring six times in his 10 combined innings from the first two outings, control (7 walks) being the biggest issue. Bottom line, however, is Baltimore found a way to win both games. He faced the Blue Jays at Camden Yards in the season opener, working into the sixth and allowing two runs. He is 0-3 in five starts and three relief outings at Rogers Centre (5.58 ERA, 7 HR, 29 IP).

After enjoying a strong spring, Liriano was shelled in his season debut last Friday at Tampa Bay, never making it out of the first having allowed five runs and walking four batters. He pitched well -- 2-1, 5 starts, 3.07 ERA -- in Toronto last year after joining the Blue Jays in a trade from Pittsburgh, and tossed eight scoreless innings against the Orioles in a regular-season start and playoff relief appearance. Adam Jones and Welington Castillo have been problems for Liriano, that pair combining for a .350 average (14-40) with five homers.


Series Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

After taking both games in the mini-series at Oriole Park last week, Baltimore has now won the last four regular-season games in this rivalry and has taken three of the last four played under the Rogers roof. Both games in Charm City went 'under' the MLB odds to start this year's series, and the last five played here in 2016 (including the AL wild-card game) also failed to reach the totals.

With the thermometer not making it out of the 40s all day in Toronto and dipping into the upper 30s this evening, the roof will be shut at Rogers Centre. Those temps aren't near as cold as my free baseball picks have been to start the season, a winless stretch that could reach double digits tonight. I'm fading Toronto on its losing streak, which means you should back the Blue Jays due to my losing streak.

MLB Free Pick: Orioles +110Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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