Blue Jays vs. Orioles MLB Lines Preview

Toronto vs Baltimore MLB Lines Preview | Rookie Pitchers Duel

When the AL East rival Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles conclude a series on Thursday from Baltimore, it’s a matchup of rookie pitchers. The Blue Jays’ rookie has been much, much better and thus Toronto is a huge road favorite on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Blue Jays at Orioles MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Toronto?

Toronto batters have hit .254 in road games so far this season, the 2nd best mark in MLB while averaging 4.65 runs per game away from home.

The Jays made a trade on Tuesday acquiring pitchers Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis from the Brewers for first baseman Rowdy Tellez. It was second trade involving Richards in the past six weeks, as he was also part of the Willy Adames deal with the Rays. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hander Richards made six relief appearances for the Rays and 15 for the Brewers, combining to go 3-0 with a save while keeping a 3.69 ERA and fanning 41 batters over 31 2/3 innings of work. Francis, 25, has gone 7-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 11 starts between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville this season.

Though manager Charlie Montoyo doesn’t know when Richards will be able to join the team, he is already anticipating the impact the righty will make in the bullpen.

“He’s the right guy,” Montoyo said. “He’s a good guy. He’s a guy who does a good job. He did a good job for [the Rays] last year, and he was doing a good job for the Brewers. So, I expect the same for us.”

Montoyo said Tuesday that catcher Alejandro Kirk is “100 percent healthy” but will remain on his rehab assignment for now. Kirk had been dealing with left hip flexor discomfort since the start of May. He will remain on the 60-day injured list for now to get some extra plate appearances in the minors.

It’s top pitching prospect Alek Manoah (2-0) on the mound. Manoah recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings last Friday in a win over the Rays. He carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, striking out a Blue Jays franchise record seven consecutive batters at one point, before giving up a one-out double to Francisco Mejía. He induced -popping 23 swinging strikes, including 11 on his slider, and finished with a 35 percent CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) across 109 pitches.

The 23-year-old rookie right-hander has completed five innings while allowing one earned run or fewer, in five of seven starts since late-May. He’s compiled a 2.70 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 43/12 K/BB ratio across 36 2/3 innings (seven starts).

Standing at 6-foot-6, Manoah started the season as the organization’s No. 5 prospect and third-ranked pitcher after Nate Pearson and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Drafted in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the right-hander became e the second player from that draft to make his major league debut this year. After not playing last season with the minor league season being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manoah began this year in Triple-A, appearing in three games and surrendering only one earned run through 18.0 innings.

Why Bet on Baltimore?

Outfielder Cedric Mullins has been named to his first career All-Star team, as an AL outfield reserve. Mullins received the most votes on the Player Ballot among American League outfielders. He is the first O’s outfielder to be named to the Mid-Summer classic since Mark Trumbo in 2016.

Mullins currently ranks first among qualified AL outfielders in hits (101), slugging (.547), OPS (.932), total bases (174), stolen bases (15), fWAR (3.6), runs created (70), and weighted runs above average (24.65), tied for first in extra-base hits (40), second in batting average (.318) and OBP (.385), tied for second in multi-hit games (25), and third in doubles (22). His seven outs above average and six runs prevented are both the third-most among AL outfielders. His eight career homers vs. the Blue Jays are his most against any team.

Third baseman Maikel Franco was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained ankle. Franco tried to make a go of it with his sprained ankle, but was scratched from the lineup on Tuesday and the Orioles will let him get right over the break. His four homers on breaking pitches are tied for the most on the team; of his 64 hits on the year, 45 have come against fastballs, 16 against breaking balls, and just three against off-speed pitches

The Orioles have left-hander rookie Keegan Akin in the rotation with two other left-handers — John Means and Bruce Zimmermann — on the 10-day injured list. Akin (0-4) gets the call here.

Akin surrendered four runs on seven hits over three innings while taking a no-decision in last Friday’s loss to the Angels. He allowed a solo homer to Shohei Ohtani in the third. The lone positive from Friday’s outing is that he halted his four-start losing streak. In seven starts this season, the 26-year-old lefty owns an ugly 7.92 ERA.

“Akin can hopefully improve his command. He needs to get better,” Manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s going to continue to get starts up here. I don’t know what the rotation is going to look like. This year is a strange one with injuries … possibly we have a lot of young guys in the rotation in the second half.”

Game Trends

  • Blue Jays are 4-10 in their last 14 games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • Blue Jays are 3-9 in their last 12 during game 3 of a series.
  • Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 Thursday games.
  • Orioles are 14-37 in their last 51 games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • Orioles are 11-40 in their last 51 Thursday games.
  • Orioles are 1-6 in their last 7 during game 3 of a series.

Expert Prediction

  • Blue Jays 6, Orioles 2

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