Orioles vs. Blue Jays Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Back Thriving Offenses (Tuesday, August 31)

Orioles vs. Blue Jays Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Back Thriving Offenses (Tuesday, August 31) article feature image
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Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: George Springer.

  • Two struggling left-handers face off on Tuesday night in Toronto when the Orioles face the Blue Jays.
  • Keegan Akin has looked like turning the corner of late for Baltimore, although Hyun-jin Ryu has been woeful in August.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and delivers his best bet below.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays Odds

Orioles Odds +270
Blue Jays Odds -350
Over/Under 9.5
Time Tuesday, 7:07 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Monday and via DraftKings

Two southpaws head to the helm in this battle between American League East foes when Keegan Akin and the Baltimore Orioles fly across the border to battle Hyun-jin Ryu and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Both pitchers have struggled mightily in August — Ryu more than Akin, shockingly. In fact, even with his 7.26 ERA, Akin did not allow more than three runs in any of his last three August starts.

Let’s dive into the numbers on if it is worth it to hold our noses and bet the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore notably lost 19 games in a row earlier in August, which is absolutely brutal for the fans and the team. The Orioles broke that streak, however, by taking the series last week against the Angels.

What led them to this free fall? Well, Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins only hold wOBAs of .295 and .296 in August, which is a huge deal for an Orioles offense that relies so heavily on them.

That said, Baltimore does have some other impressive bats in the lineup. Ramón Urías, Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays, Jorge Mateo and Anthony Santander all have above a 100 wRC+ this month, which shows the O’s bats are not as weak as the team’s record may reflect.

Now, Baltimore’s starting rotation is not strong. Akin is a 26-year-old prospect with a 92 mph fastball. He is not anything to write home about, but he at least has flashed some promise in his last few outings.

Akin held the Red Sox, Braves and Angels to 14 hits over 16 innings. After having success against those clubs, two of which are likely headed to the postseason, the chickens may come home to roost in this one since Akin allows plenty of hard-hit balls (41.8%) and an 89.9 average exit velocity.

Baltimore’s bullpen has not done it any favors since the trade deadline either. In that time, the Orioles’ gloves have maintained a 7.50 ERA and a combined -0.8 fWAR. By this logic, it would make more sense to just not pitch anyone once the starter is done working.

Marcos Diplan has been solid (2.51 ERA) in his 14 relief innings since July 31, but that is inflated compared to his xFIP of 4.15. Do not trust this ‘pen against this lineup. It will likely implode.


Toronto Blue Jays

Ryu, meanwhile, has a 4.60 ERA since the All-Star break, and that is up to 6.51 in August.

That number isn’t inflated due to just one bad outing either. The Red Sox, White Sox and Mariners all easily smacked him for 20 hits over 13 2/3 innings. The Orioles are playoff contenders like those clubs, but they have enough weapons to give Ryu some trouble in this matchup.

Toronto’s lineup, meanwhile, has been crushing lefties, particularly of late. The Blue Jays own a 119 wRC+ and an 11.8% walk rate in August, putting their patience on display.

George Springer returned to the lineup on Monday, which provides a huge boost against a lefty like Akin. Even with Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. struggling this month, they still have four hitters slugging .500 or greater against lefties in August — that includes Springer. Akin sometimes has trouble with his control, which could put him in serious danger on Tuesday night.

Toronto’s bullpen has been plagued with injuries this season, but it still has a few impressive arms in Adam Cimber, Jordan Romano, Joakim Soria and Tim Mayza. It basically ends there, though.

If Ryu has issues getting through the Baltimore order, the Jays are in a tough position.

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Orioles-Blue Jays Pick

Here are the main takeaways from this matchups: Both starters aren’t pitching well, neither bullpen is outstanding and both teams can hit.

These all aim to the over, specifically in the first five innings. Play this to 5 (-120), as I am confident both of these starters will have plenty of problems against strong lineups.

Pick: First 5 Innings Over 4.5 (-120, play to 5 -120)

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