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Orioles vs Guardians MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why Baltimore Is Mispriced as an Underdog (Tuesday, August 30)

Orioles vs Guardians MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why Baltimore Is Mispriced as an Underdog (Tuesday, August 30) article feature image

Via Getty Images/G Flume. Pictured: Kyle Stowers #83 of the Baltimore Orioles bats against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland.

  • The Orioles are road underdogs on Tuesday against the Guardians.
  • Cal Quantrill takes the mound for the Guardians while the Orioles will counter with Spenser Watkins.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Orioles vs. Guardians Odds

Orioles Odds +136
Guardians Odds -162
Over/Under 8.5 (-105/-115)
Time 6:10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Cal Quantrill has been one of the most reliable starting pitchers on the Cleveland Guardians in the second half this season as he owns a 3.19 ERA after the All-Star Break. However, overall he still maintains a 3.59 ERA against a 4.39 xERA, meaning he has been exceptionally lucky. He will face off with the Baltimore Orioles and Spenser Watkins, who has also had his fair share of luck with a 3.96 ERA and 4.82 xERA this season.

These are two relatively similar starters. Both have struck out fewer than 16% of hitters this season, ranking in the bottom 10% of MLB. However, Quantrill does have a slight advantage since he permits far less hard contact than Watkins. But on the other hand, the Guardians have a team 85 wRC+ off of righties in August while the Orioles rank seventh with a 108 wRC+ mark.

There isn’t a distinguishable difference between starters or bullpens to back the Cleveland Guardians with how poorly they hit right-handers. Take the Baltimore Orioles in this matchup as they will manage a few runs off of Quantrill and Cleveland’s middle relievers.

Orioles’ Spenser Watkins Has an Advantage Over Guardians Hitters

Watkins may rank in the 15th percentile in Average Exit Velocity, but his Hard-Hit Rate is above average (56th percentile) at 37.1%. He also only walks 6.6% of batters, down by nearly one percent since last season. Basically, Cleveland already puts the ball in play often (lowest Strikeout Rate in MLB), and Watkins is a pitch-to-contact starter.

Only Steven Kwan and Austin Hedges have a .340+ xwOBA on Cleveland against righties in August. The rest of the lineup hovers around the low .300s, which says they can put together strong plate appearances, but they will not blow the starter away. In addition, Cleveland ranks dead-last in Hard Hit Rate and is tied for second-to-last in Average Exit Velocity. They will not be able to exploit Watkins’ main weakness.

Baltimore also has the eighth-best xFIP out of the bullpen in August. They have five relievers under a 3.40 xFIP this month, so they have enough artillery behind Watkins when he leaves the game. That said, with weaker contact and fewer walks/strikeouts, Watkins could throw deeper into this game than usual.

Orioles Have a Contact Edge Over Cal Quantrill and the Guardians

Quantrill is the better starter but not by much, considering the lineup he is facing in this game. He ranks in the top 35% in both Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Percentage. The Baltimore lineup ranks in the middle-of-the-pack for each as a unit.

The Orioles do have five bats above a .350 xwOBA against right-handers, though, so the majority of their lineup will be a test for Quantrill. Outside of fellow Stanford Cardinal Kyle Stowers, Quantrill will face a Baltimore lineup hitting below a .300 xwOBA. However, six of nine batters will have a chance to do some damage, especially since he is a contact pitcher, like Watkins.

The Orioles also have five hitters averaging at least 89 MPH off the bat in August off of righties, so they will cut into Quantrill’s lesser contact edge over Watkins, too.

The Cleveland bullpen is a juggernaut with a team 2.48 xFIP, and this is one of the reasons they are leading the American League Central. The Orioles will have to force Quantrill out of this game early to face a weaker reliever for Cleveland. Otherwise, the end of the game will be tough.

Orioles-Guardians Pick

Take the Orioles at +140 on the moneyline at bet365. The starting pitching matchup against these two respective lineups is dead even, and both bullpens are strong. Cleveland does have a slight advantage with each, but the Orioles hammer right-handed pitching better than the Guardians.

Play Baltimore from +140 to +105. The Orioles should only be small underdogs, so there is a ton of value on them at open.

Pick: Baltimore Orioles +140 | play to +105

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