Orioles Will Win Final Game of Series Vs. Tigers in Motown Matinee

orioles tigers

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 7:01 PM GMT

Barring a playoff matchup, the Baltimore Orioles play their final game of the season in Motown on Thursday afternoon (1:10 ET) to close out a three-game series vs. the Tigers. It looks like a pitching mismatch in favor of the Birds.

MLB Season Record: 14-10

Baltimore Orioles At Detroit Tigers (+100, 10)

The Baltimore Orioles close out a three-game series in Detroit on Thursday afternoon, with a 1:10 ET first pitch from Comerica Park.

Here’s hoping Thursday’s game is close to as entertaining as the series opener was, a 13-11 Orioles win in 13 innings in which there were 38 hits. The Orioles led 7-1 at one point but coughed that up and tied it 8-8 in the top of the ninth on a Mark Trumbo two-out homer. That was the first blown save by new Tigers pitcher Justin Wilson, who recently was given the closer’s job in place of the ineffective Francisco Rodriguez. Wilson has otherwise been great this year with a 1.59 ERA and 0.53 WHIP entering Wednesday.

Both the Orioles and Tigers scored three runs apiece in the 12th. How often do you see a guy homer twice in extra innings? Baltimore’s Chris Davis hit a solo shot in the top of the 12th and then the game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 13th.  That came off Rodriguez, who looks shot at age 35 and with a 1-5 record, 8.16 ERA, 1.95 WHIP and four blown saves.

Davis is +1800 on BetOnline’s updated MLB odds to lead the majors in homers this season. He has eight as of Wednesday. Davis is only the second player in the expansion era to hit two go-ahead home runs in extra-innings: the Cardinals’ Matt Adams did it vs. Cincinnati on Sept. 4, 2013. Adams hit two solo home runs in the 14th and 16th innings, the second a game-winner. Davis and Adams are the only players to homer multiple times in the 12th inning or later of a game.

The Tigers activated outfielder J.D. Martinez off the DL last weekend after he hurt his foot this spring. Martinez had two homers himself Tuesday in his first home game of the year, including a seventh-inning grand slam.  It was the third career multi-HR game for Martinez, and second in four days. Martinez became the first player with at least two homers and four walks in a game since Derek Lee in 2002.

Baltimore’s Brad Brach, who has stepped in as closer with Zach Britton back on the DL, has now allowed home runs in his past two outings after giving up the grand slam to Martinez. Another Orioles reliever, Darren O’Day, returned from a week without pitching on Tuesday (minor injury) with a scoreless eighth inning. The Birds’ bullpen has been scuffling of late and clearly misses the All-Star Britton, who may not be back until after the All-Star break.

 

Thursday’s Probable Pitchers

The fact that Baltimore and Detroit both used six relievers Tuesday could easily affect Thursday’s game if neither starter is able to go deep.

The Orioles go with their ace, 24-year-old right-hander Dylan Bundy (5-1, 2.26). All eight of his outings this year have been quality, meaning at least six innings and three earned runs or fewer allowed. Bundy’s 31.3 percent ground-ball rate is among the best in the majors. His left on-base percentage of 84.4 is also among the best.

Baltimore had won five straight games with him on the mound but lost 3-2 in Kansas City last Friday when Bundy allowed two runs and four hits over six innings with eight strikeouts in a no-decision.  He is 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four road starts in 2017. Bundy was still coming out of the bullpen last year when he faced the Tigers for the first time in his career, shutting them out over 1.1 innings.

Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 6.28) was the best pitcher in baseball in April 2016 (5-0, 0.55 ERA) but then got hurt soon after and really has never been the same. He has allowed at least four earned runs in five of seven starts this year and double-digit hits in three of his outings. Thus he has an ugly WHIP of 1.66. Opponents are batting .327 against him. That’s the second-worst mark among qualified starters in the majors to the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright (.331).

Zimmermann, a former Washington National, has a 5.82 ERA in seven career starts against Baltimore, his worst mark against any AL club he has faced at least three times. Davis could have another big game as he’s 4-for-7 off Zimmermann in his career with two homers. Adam Jones is 4-for-19 with two dingers.

Note the early start time in the getaway game, so a regular or two on each side could get the day off. Those early starts also tend to favor the pitchers, and Bundy’s clearly the better one here. The Tigers are 2-5 in Zimmermann’s past seven vs. teams with a winning record, so Baltimore is my MLB pick.

Free MLB Pick: Orioles -110Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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