Orioles vs Blue Jays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Monday, July 31

Orioles vs Blue Jays Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Monday, July 31 article feature image

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Orioles vs. Blue Jays Odds

Monday, July 31
7:07 p.m. ET
Orioles Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Blue Jays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The first-place Baltimore Orioles look to extend their division lead over Toronto on Monday.

Baltimore took two of three from the Yankees for the first time since 2016 and now have a one-game lead over the Rays in the American League East. They will send Kyle Gibson to the mound in hopes he can keep things going, as the Orioles look to continue their hot hitting and give him plenty of run support.

The Blue Jays took two of three from the Angels this weekend and are tied with the Astros for the second wild card spot. Toronto is trying to hold off the Red Sox and Yankees, who are right on their tail for the wild card for every game, so matchups against division rivals are extremely important from now until the rest of the season.

Baltimore Orioles

Kyle Gibson has been a below-average starting pitcher this season. His xERA is sitting at 4.59, but he has done a good job keeping a low BB/9 and HR/9 rate. That is key for him, because at age 35 he just doesn't have the stuff to get many swings and misses anymore.

Gibson has a good pitch mix of five different pitches and throws each of them at least 10% of the time. Everything for him is designed to be down in the zone to induce ground balls. His main three pitchers are a sinker, changeup, and sweeper, and as you can see by the heat map below, all three of them are mostly thrown at the bottom end of the strike zone.

image via Baseball Savant

Gibson is producing a ground ball rate around 47% this season, which is around his career average. So, there's nothing wrong with Gibson, he just is what he is at this point in his career.

The Orioles offense has been somewhat average as of late with a .318 wOBA over the past 30 days, but this is a good matchup for them against Bassitt. Bassitt throws a number of different pitches, but he goes to his sinker close to 40% of the time and the Orioles have a .361 xwOBA against right-handed sinkers this season.

Baltimore's bullpen has also been outstanding all season long. They are top five in xFIP, K/9 rate, Stuff+, and Pitching+, and with talented arms like Bautista and Cano in late innings, they are extremely difficult to beat.

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Toronto Blue Jays

Chris Bassitt is a unique pitcher because he throws eight different pitches to keep batters guessing. Some of them have been effective and others have not. For the season, Bassitt has a 3.91 ERA, but his expected ERA is up at 4.46. A lot of his overperformance is coming on his main pitch, which is his sinker. He's only allowing a .227 batting average and .285 wOBA on it, but the xBA and xwOBA on the at pitch are .268 and .334. As mentioned above, the Orioles crush right-handed sinkers, so that is not good news for Bassitt.

Another problem for Bassitt is he cannot get lefties out. He's only allowing a .294 wOBA to righties, but a .380 wOBA to lefties. One of the reasons why that might be is because his pitches aren't designed to come in on lefties. As you can see, everything is out over the plate, so it's no wonder he's getting crushed by lefties.

image via Baseball Savant

The Orioles have the ability to stack seven left-handed bats against Bassitt, so this is really a bad matchup for him.

The Blue Jays are one of the best offenses in baseball against right-handed pitching. They are ninth in wOBA and have been hitting the ball well over the past month ranking 10th in wRC+. The problem for them in this game is they aren't great against right-handed sinkers (-6.9 run value) or changeups (-4.0 run value), which are Gibson's main two pitches.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays Betting Pick

Looking at this game on paper, given the starting pitching matchup, the Blue Jays are deserving favorites, but I think this price is a tad high. Yes, Kyle Gibson is a below-average starting pitcher, but his expected metrics aren't that much worse than Bassitt's. The Blue Jays offense is below average against his two main pitches and he's doing a decent job generating ground balls.

Bassitt is a negative regression candidate in a terrible matchup. Not only does he struggle to get lefties out and will be facing a lineup of seven left-handed bats, but the Orioles also crush right-handed sinkers, which is his main pitch.

I only have the Orioles projected at +104 for the first five innings, so I like the value on them at +123 (BetRivers) and would play it down to +118.

Pick: Orioles First Five Innings +123

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