Yankees vs. Orioles Series Betting Coverage: MLB Picks

Willie Bee

Friday, July 11, 2014 7:05 AM GMT

The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles close their series in MLB's final game before the All-Star Game, and our handicapper shares his expert opinion on the best value here.

 

13th July
Yankees vs. Orioles Game 3

By: Willie Bee

 

So far, so good for New York Yankees rookie Shane Greene, and those backing him with their MLB picks. The young righty won his second-straight major league start on Saturday, hurling shutout baseball into the eighth against the Baltimore Orioles, New York's 3-0 win leveled the series to set up a rubber match on ESPN in Sunday's finale (8 PM ET).

MLB odds have yet to be published for the matchup due to the Yankees naming another rookie arm, Chase Whitley, as their Game 3 starter.  Baltimore counters with a rookie of their own in Kevin Gausman, the Orioles hoping their top pick from two years ago can protect a 3-game lead in the AL East.

 

Both Pitchers Making 1st Career Starts In Rivalry
Whitley proved to be a real blessing when he was first called upon to take what had been CC Sabathia's spot in New York's hobbled rotation.  The Yankees had gone 3-5 in Sabathia's assignments and won five of Whitley's first six starts, but the rookie then hit a rough patch with three assignments that combined for 10.1 IP and 17 ER.  He was skipped the last time through the order, getting in two innings of shutout relief in Cleveland on Wednesday to at least get some work in before this outing.

Gausman is essentially taking the rotation spot recently opened up by Ubaldo Jimenez's ankle injury, and it's the fourth time this year the former LSU star has made the trip up from the minors.  Four of his previous six starts have gone into the win column for the Orioles, three of those four victories coming against division foes.

His only experience against the Yankees came in the form of three relief outings against New York last year, two of them scoreless appearances and the other a 1-inning stint in which he allowed three runs, two of them on an Alfonso Soriano bomb.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Tasked with calling balls and strikes in the series finale is 17-year veteran umpire Doug Eddings.  The New Mexican has been a good friend to 'under' bettors on the season, his plate assignments running 5-12-1 (O/U/P), though his last two contests and four of his last six have skipped past the mark.

There's a 30% chance of a shower or two popping up on Baltimore's radar throughout the afternoon and early evening, and the thermometer is still going to be in the balmy upper-80s at first pitch.  The weatherman is also calling for a 10-14 mph SSW wind (out to right-center) when the game gets underway.

There are sluggers on both sides who could take advantage of a breeze blowing out, but the two lineups have been struggling to score many runs this week with the Orioles plating only nine over the last four games and the Yankees 16 in a 5-game stretch.  I'll be keeping my eyes on SBR's live MLB odds for the numbers to come out, and am leaning to the 'under' for my free sports picks .

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My pick: Lean Under

Season: 89-84 (+5.05)

 

12th July
Yankees vs. Orioles Game 2

By: Willie Bee

 

The Baltimore Orioles excelled in close games a couple of years ago when they surprised the baseball world (and those choosing to place their sports picks on them) with their first postseason appearance in 15 seasons, and they're doing it again in 2014 with yet another extra-inning win Friday over the New York Yankees.

Baltimore walked off with a 3-2 decision in the 10th inning of the series opener, Nick Hundley's single plating the winner after New York had taken an early 2-0 lead thanks to solo homers. It was the third extra-inning win of the month for the Orioles, leaving Baltimore 9-3 in those affairs and holding a 3-game lead over Toronto in the AL East.

The loss dropped the Yankees to .500 on the campaign, and they'll try to avoid slipping under the break-even mark in Saturday's 4:05 PM (ET) at Oriole Park. Shane Greene is up next in New York's rotation while Chris Tillman takes the mound for Baltimore. Tillman wasn't expected to pitch until Sunday, and the late change in the Orioles rotation has delayed the MLB odds for Game 2 of this series.

 

Tillman Steps In For Injured Jimenez
Greene earned his first MLB victory on Monday in Cleveland, limiting the Indians to just four hits and two runs over six frames in only his second big league appearance. A 15th-round pick by the Yankees in '09, Greene was 5-2 in 13 starts and two relief outings at Triple-A this year, recording a 4.61 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 66.1 innings.

Ubaldo Jimenez was originally scheduled to start this one for the Orioles, but a twisted ankle sent him to the DL which might be good news considering the way he performed in Boston last Saturday (3.2 IP, 6 BB, 4 ER). Even better news is manager Buck Showalter being able to plug Tillman in on his regular rest after beating the Nationals with seven strong frames this past Monday in Washington.

Baltimore has won four straight Tillman starts, the streak beginning in New York a few weeks back when the righthander tossed seven shutout innings of an 8-0 decision over the Yanks. The Cali native beat New York twice last year at Camden Yards, combining for 13 innings of work in the two games and allowing four earned runs.

 

Umpire notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Now in his 28th season working games at the MLB level, Jim Joyce is expected to be behind the dish for this afternoon's clash. He recently returned to action after missing a couple of months due to a mild concussion, and both of his plate assignments since coming back have gone past the total to leave him 5-2 O/U in 2014, home favorites 2-4.

There is a slight chance of a shower popping up in the late afternoon, but nothing that will keep this game from being played, so don't let the weather stop you from placing your baseball picks. The thermometer should be in the mid-to-upper 80s at first pitch under a few clouds and with an 8-10 mph SSE breeze (out to left-center).

The Orioles are the clear favorite in this one, but I'm going to have my eyes on the total once it comes out instead of the Baltimore moneyline. Keep your browser pointed at SBR's live MLB odds to catch the numbers when they are released.

 

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My Free MLB Pick: Lean Under

Season: 87-84 (+3.05)

 

9th July
Yankees vs. Orioles Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

All in all, it hasn't been a bad road trip for the New York Yankees.  They've won five of eight in the two stops at Minnesota and Cleveland, adding to a pretty impressive road record (28-21) which is tied with Oakland for the most victories away from home among AL teams.

Yet a pall hangs over the Yankees as they arrive in Baltimore for a weekend set against the Orioles as more bad news on the injury front may have dealt a final blow to New York's playoff chances.

If the MLB odds are correct, those hopes will fade a little more in Friday's series opener at Oriole Park (7:05 PM ET).  Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound for the home team as small chalk against Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees.  Baltimore is running around -115 moneyline for Game 1.  Scoreboard betting requires a decision on a 9 run total that we may see fall to 8.5 by first pitch.

 

Birds Host Yanks For 1st Time in 2014
Credit is due Joe Girardi and New York (46-45, -3.5 units, 42-28-1 O/U/P) for still being in the postseason hunt despite all of the injuries the club has suffered, especially to the starting rotation.  The Yankees took another major hit on that front this week with news that Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, and the rookie will miss at least the next six weeks, and probably much longer.

Baltimore (50-41, +12.3 units, 42-47-2 O/U/P) spent this week trying to dodge rain drops while taking two of three from the Washington Nationals.  The Orioles have won eight of their last 10, heating up just as the Yankees and Blue Jays have cooled to build a 3-game lead at the top of the AL East standings.

This set not only takes the O's and Yanks to the midway point of the 2014 MLB betting campaign, it also gets them to the halfway point of their season series.  They have met twice before, both of those series taking place in New York and Baltimore taking two of three each time.  The totals split 3-3 in those contests according to the official closing numbers.

The Orioles won six of the 10 played at Camden Yards last year, reeling of six straight victories along the way before the Yankees took the final three played in Baltimore.  Scoreboard betting went 4-5-1 O/U/P in the affairs.

 

Both Rotations In Flux Heading Into All-Star Break
Kuroda has faced the Birds twice already this season, picking up the win in a 4-2 final on April 7 and a no-decision in a 5-3 Yankees walk-off victory on June 20.  Including a start in the 2012 ALDS, New York is 5-4 when Kuroda takes on Baltimore, the veteran pitching to an even 3.00 ERA in 60 innings.

Gonzalez enjoyed arguably his best performance of the years last Saturday in Boston, and it was definitely his longest as the righty went eight frames and allowed just one earned run.  Still, it was Baltimore's third straight with Gonzalez on the hill, leaving the Orioles 6-8 in his 14 assignments (-1.4 units).

One of the wins did come against the Yankee back on April 9, both he and Tanaka picking up no-decisions in the 5-4 decision for Baltimore.  The O's split his two home starts vs. New York last year, Gonzalez pitching to a 3.46 ERA in those efforts.

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After bad weather affected much of the eastern half of the US this week, the forecast looks favorable for the next few days in Baltimore.  Clear skies and temps in the low-80s are what's in store for Friday's series opener, with just a light easterly breeze (right to left).

What we have here are two pitchers who have performed well against tonight's opposition, but don't necessarily have the wins to show for their efforts.  Given the rough stretch I've had with free picks this week, you may want to fade today's free MLB pick which will be on the low side of the total.

My pick: Yankees-Orioles Under 9

Season: 85-84 (+1.05)