Blue Jays vs Orioles Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, August 22
G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Mountcastle and Adley Rutschman.
Blue Jays vs. Orioles Odds
An important three-game set between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles will get started on Tuesday with a matchup between Yusei Kikuchi (3.44 ERA, 128 1/3 IP) and Grayson Rodriguez (5.44 ERA, 81 IP).
Both pitchers have been in excellent form of late as Kikuchi owns an ERA of 1.29 ERA in August while Rodriguez has pitched to a mark of 2.89.
Kikuchi enters this matchup in the midst of an absolute tear, including a strong six-inning outing on Aug. 2 versus the Orioles in which he allowed six hits and one ER. He has pitched to a 1.29 ERA in 35 innings since the All-Star break with a WHIP of 1.00.
The Orioles did have 12 hard-hit balls, including six with exit velocities of more than 100 mph, in that matchup. Kikuchi ran with some favorable luck in that outing, and as you would expect, that has been the case for his entire recent run of results. He has been legitimately good, but his expected rates still suggest he is simply well better than average and not an ace.
He owns an xERA of 4.12 this season with an xFIP of 3.91. Over the last 10 outings his per-game xFIP has remained consistent with that mark. His stuff rates quite well with a Stuff+ rating of 108, and he owns a Location+ of 101.
The Orioles feature a number of lefty killers in the lineup and have hit LHP notably well as a team this season. They own an eighth-best wRC+ of 112 versus lefties.
Right-handed batters have found far more success versus Kikuchi this season with a .412 SLG rate and .256 average, and counting last season they have slugged .477 over the last two years. While Kikuchi is a better pitcher this season, he has clearly run with better luck on that front.
Ryan Mountcastle went 2-for-2 versus Kikuchi earlier this month, including the game's top exit velo at 109 mph. He's now 7-for-12 lifetime versus Kikuchi with four HR.
Mountcastle has found top form after a disappointing first half to the season. He has slugged .613 since the All-Star break, with an OPS of 1.051.
Adley Rutschman has also been in solid form with a .458 SLG rate in August. He has slugged .496 versus left-handed pitching with an OPS of .924. He has two home runs in 14 at-bats versus Kikuchi.
He also features drastically different splits at home compared to on the road, with an OPS of .956 at home compared to a .669 mark on the road.
Blue Jays vs. Orioles
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Orioles have seen a fair bit of Kikuchi over the last two years and have a number of batters who have fared well in those at-bats. Mountcastle and Rutschman have both hit Kikuchi well and enter with excellent splits versus lefties.
They are both in top form and are great targets to do damage in this matchup.
Rutschman can be had as high as +145 to record over 1.5 total bases, and I think that price is too long in this matchup. Mountcastle at +105 to record over 1.5 total bases is another strong play.
Splitting a bet between the two is my favorite way to bet this exciting matchup. A small bet on either to hit a HR is another solid option.
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