Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Orioles vs. Blue Jays: Toronto Turns to Hyun Jin Ryu With Season On Line (Oct. 3)
Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Hyun Jin Ryu
- The Blue Jays need a win and help to reach the postseason on Sunday.
- Toronto is heavily favored against Baltimore with Hyun Jin Ryu on the mound.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of today's matchup, including a betting prediction.
Orioles vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-350|
|Over/Under||10 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||3:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After 161 games, the wild-card race in the American League is still undecided. That’s because we have four teams at the top, only separated by one game.
Therefore, if you like chaos, you might get your wish as we could end up with a four-team tie when the smoke clears on Sunday. For that to happen, both the Red Sox and Yankees would have to lose on Sunday, with the Blue Jays and Mariners winning their games.
At best, Toronto can only hope for a wild-card play-in game on Monday. But with each Major League Baseball game on Sunday beginning in the 3 p.m. ET time slot, no team will take the field with the advantage of knowing the score line in the other games.
That only helps to add to the drama and ensures that the integrity of the competition will remain intact. It also gives us a chance to produce an honest handicap on the final game of what’s been a lopsided series between the Orioles and Blue Jays.
Orioles Look To Play Spoiler
The Orioles were mathematically eliminated on Aug. 28 when they lost their 88th game of the season. Baltimore’s been playing for pride for much of the season, but it’s gotten a chance to play the spoiler role in back-to-back series against Boston and Toronto this week. At home against the Red Sox, the Orioles managed to win two out of three games but then lost the first two games of the weekend series against the Blue Jays on the road.
Baltimore’s rivalry with Boston is probably more intense than against Toronto, but it also benefited from being the home team in the series. I’m not sure the Orioles have been able to bring that same intensity with them on the road to Toronto.
They’ll turn to the second-year starter Bruce Zimmermann for their final game of the season. This will be the 13th start and 14th appearance for the left-hander. He’s 4-4 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. His advanced numbers suggest that he’s been a bit fortunate considering his 5.22 FIP. The most significant mark against him is his 1.84 HR/9 ratio. He’s also not much of a ground ball pitcher, given his 1.21 GB/FB ratio. That’s important considering that 19.4% of his fly balls have left the park as home runs.
Zimmermann’s pitch arsenal includes a four-seamer (42.2%), a changeup (25.4%), a slider (19.1%) and a curveball (13.2%). His heavy reliance on his four-seamer has gotten him in trouble as opposing teams are hitting .389 with a .492 wOBA against the pitch. FanGraphs Pitch Values ranks his four-seamer at -14.1 runs below average. His three other pitchers have an above-average grade.
On Tuesday, Zimmermann made his first start in two months following a bicep tendinitis injury. He only pitched four innings in that outing but gave up one run on two hits against the Red Sox. That continued a decent string of performances in which he’s allowed a total of nine runs in his last 25 innings of work. He could pose an element of surprise for the Blue Jays as this will be his first time facing them.
Ryu Looks To Boost Blue Jays
Toronto finished last year with a .533 winning percentage during the pandemic-shortened season. It also resulted in its first playoff appearance since the 2016 season.
This year, the Blue Jays have done even better and produced a .559 winning percentage. The future is undoubtedly bright for this Blue Jays organization that has the 12th-youngest team in the majors with an average of 28 years and four months. However, this team feels it’s ready to win, and Sunday’s game provides another playoff-type environment for them to announce their arrival.
Things looked particularly bleak for the Blue Jays until they went on a 13-4 run in late July. Then in August, they got back into the playoff race with a 15-2 run. However, they’ve cooled off a bit as they’ve gone 9-8 in the next 17 games. It will all come down to their 162nd game of the season, and that responsibility falls to Hyun Jin Ryu to try to keep the team’s playoff hopes alive.
In 30 games, Ryu is 13-10 with a 4.39 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He’s probably pitched a bit better than his record shows, as evidenced by his 4.00 FIP. However, there might be some concern given that his 7.46 K/9 ratio is the lowest of his last six years. Moreover, his 1.26 HR/9 ratio is also the highest of his previous four seasons. That’s corresponded with a 1.40 GB/FB ratio which is down from 1.82 last season.
What’s interesting is that Ryu’s splits are better on the road than at home. He’s 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 3.52 FIP on the highway vs. 6-6 with a 4.99 ERA and 4.48 FIP at home. With this final meeting essentially being a playoff game for Toronto, you can expect Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, to have a short leash. Ryu’s had a dip in form in his last three outings as he’s allowed 15 runs in 8 2/3 innings.
Orioles-Blue Jays Pick
I went back and looked at the game logs of Zimmermann’s last five starts, and he’s thrown his four-seamer much less of late. The most he threw it during that stretch was 41.4% of the time against the Twins on June 1st. I would think that by now, someone’s likely gotten in his ear to throw fewer four-seamers. The fact that he’s never faced the Blue Jays should also be to his advantage.
Meanwhile, I’m not sure you can trust Ryu at the moment, given the form he’s in and how he’s pitched a bit worse at home. Toronto’s playoff dreams are priced into this line as the Blue Jays are overvalued as high as a -350 home favorite. If there were ever a game I’d expect the Blue Jays to be a bit tight, it would be this one. I’d look to fade them in the early frames, particularly with Ryu on the mound.
In September, he’s been a -1.5 run favorite three times and failed to cover the spread in each of them. I think the Orioles are worth a look in this spot.
Pick: Orioles F5 RL +1.5 (+100)