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Orioles vs. Cardinals Odds, Picks, Predictions: Find Value in Fading Miles Mikolas (May 11)

Orioles vs. Cardinals Odds, Picks, Predictions: Find Value in Fading Miles Mikolas (May 11) article feature image
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Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Mikolas.

Orioles vs. Cardinals Odds

Orioles Odds +180
Cardinals Odds -225
Over/Under 8.5 (-105 / -115)
Time 7:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Entering the second of three in St. Louis, it’s actually the Orioles who are the hotter of the two teams. Will that continue on Wednesday with the talented Miles Mikolas on the hill?

Let’s look into this matchup and figure it out.

Baltimore Has Found Winning Ways

The Orioles, as noted above, are doing a lot of winning at the moment. They’ve taken five of their last six and the first of this three-game set in St. Louis on Tuesday. They’ve actually been the league’s best offense over the past week with a 160 wRC+, and they’ve done it all with contact. In those seven days, the Orioles have hit .316 with just a 19.8% strikeout rate.

If you think Baltimore’s been making timid contact, too, think again. The O’s rank eighth with a hard-hit rate north of 43% in the past week and for the season are eighth in that category as well at 41.1%. With a barrel rate of 4.8%, the Orioles are unlike other basement-dwelling high-contact teams. This group can hit.

Pitching is generally where the Orioles have gotten hung up. Spenser Watkins has been decent enough this season with a 3.22 ERA, but when you factor in his 8.07 ERA from a year ago and his expected ERA, which is above six runs for a second straight year, things become a little bit clearer. He’s just been fortunate to escape without a bad outing to date, and with low strikeout and high walk numbers, he’s a disaster waiting to happen.

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St. Louis Looks To End Skid

The Cardinals were beginning to build some momentum, but they’ve been stopped dead in their tracks. They’re now on a three-game losing streak after dropping the last two in San Francisco and the first at home against Baltimore. Unlike the Orioles, however, there aren’t many nice things to say about this lineup.

The Cardinals rank dead last in hard-hit rate over the past two weeks, which is right in line with what we’ve seen over the course of the season. They’re dead last at 33.1% in all games and are sporting a poor 4.2% barrel rate. St. Louis has failed to make any sort of impactful contact with the baseball and the offense has been inconsistent as a result.

The Cardinals have managed a 110 wRC+ over the past two weeks which puts them in the top third of the league, but it’s hard to say they’re hitting the ball very well at the moment.

Miles Mikolas has been great every time he’s taken the ball, though. Now past the injury concerns he dealt with a year ago, the righty has cruised to a 1.53 ERA in six starts, backed by a 2.73 xERA. His hard-hit rate is a Mikolas-like 27.9%, and his strikeout numbers are even up a tad. Everything Mikolas did well when he finally made it to the big leagues a few years ago, he’s doing those things well again.

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Orioles-Cardinals Pick

You didn’t think I sat here disparaging the Cardinals offense and praising the Orioles’ for no reason, did you? I have to take this huge number with Baltimore, even against a solid starter in Mikolas.

The Cardinals are making a lot of contact with the baseball right now, but so are the Orioles. Baltimore’s happens to be of a higher quality, and even against a guy who is great at inducing soft contact, I have to back the team with the better exit velocity numbers. Mikolas isn’t going to miss many bats, only increasing the likelihood of a huge blow from Baltimore.

On the other side of the coin, Watkins has been victimized by hard-hit balls, but the Cardinals have been the worst in the league at producing those. I at least give the Orioles a very fair shot here, so I have to grab this number.

Pick: Orioles ML (+180)

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