One of the biggest series of the final week of the Major League Baseball season begins Tuesday night in Toronto as the Blue Jays and Orioles, the top two teams in the AL wild-card chase, square off. The Jays are favorites on MLB odds for Tuesday’s opener behind All-Star Aaron Sanchez.
Here’s a Closer Look at the Baltimore at Toronto Expert Pick, Betting Spread & TV Info
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 25, 2016
When: Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7:07 PM ET
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto
Probable pitchers (away/home): Kevin Gausman/Aaron Sanchez
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Baltimore / Toronto
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Toronto?
As of Monday, the Jays lead the AL wild-card chase by 1.5 games over Baltimore so it’s quite possible these two teams play next week in that wild-card game. Toronto was looking to complete a four-game home sweep of the Yankees on Monday.
Toronto’s starting staff leads the AL in QS (94), IP (943.1), ERA (3.74), Opp. Avg. (.238) & WHIP (1.22). The Jays are one of four teams in ML without a complete game this season. Toronto is on pace to become the first team in MLB history to lead the league in starters’ innings pitched without the aid of a complete game.
Jose Bautista’s recent power surge continued in the fourth inning Sunday with a solo shot to left field. Bautista’s 21st of the year was projected to travel 398 feet and left his bat at 104 mph. It was Bautista’s third home run in his last four games, and he also has a pair of doubles over that span. A total of 15 of Bautista’s 21 homers this year have put his team in front. The slugger also has now reached base in a season-high 32 consecutive games.
“Jose is that kind of player, he is always doing that,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “I don’t care if it’s this year, last year. He’s a very motivated guy. One of the most disciplined guys you’re ever going to meet, and he believes in himself, he’s one of the most confident guys you’ll ever meet. Ever since he came back from his injury, he got some at-bats under his belt and he’s just doing what he always does.”
As for Sanchez (13-2, 3.12), he allowed one run on four hits, struck out five and walked three in a no-decision versus the Mariners on Wednesday in his last start. He pitched great, only running into trouble during the third inning, but the Blue Jays failed to support him with any runs until Bautista’s solo shot in the ninth. That sent the game to extras and allowed Sanchez to avoid the loss, but Seattle eventually won in the 10th.
Sanchez has faced the Orioles four times already this season and he’s a perfect 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA. He’s struck out 18 and walked 10 over those 24 innings.
Why Bet on Baltimore?
The Orioles are 1.5 games ahead of Detroit for the final wild-card spot as of Monday. The Birds swept visiting Arizona three games over the weekend. Baltimore finished the regular season 50-31 at Camden Yards. It was the second time in three seasons the Orioles finished with at least 50 wins at home. Zach Britton picked up his American League-leading 46th save in as many chances on Sunday. Manny Machado went 2 for 4 for his team-high 54th multi-hit game. All six of the Orioles’ series sweeps have come at home.
Britton is now 46-for- 46 in save opportunities this season. On Sunday, Britton extended his stretch of consecutive save opportunities converted to 48 (since October 1, 2015), which is the sixth-longest streak in MLB history since 1969 (now trails RHP John Axford, 49; from April 24, 2011 to May 4, 2012). Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games (since September 10), batting .392/.439/.510 (20-for- 51) with four extra-base hits, five runs scored, and nine RBI in that span.
The Birds go with Kevin Gausman (8-11, 3.57) here. Gausman has put together a strong campaign overall, but struggled in his last outing Tuesday against the Red Sox, allowing 10 hits and five earned runs across 6.1 innings. He was supposed to start over the weekend but was pushed back with an intercostal injury. The righty had been great in 10 starts since July, posting a 2.57 ERA.
My Expert Prediction
Take Toronto in MLB betting at home.