Orioles vs Guardians MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cleveland Has Value as Home Favorite (Wednesday, August 31)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie (24).
- The Baltimore Orioles look to bounce back against the Cleveland Guardians after a loss Tuesday night.
- The Guardians are strong home favorites (-175) and have the hotter pitcher on the mound.
- Doug Ziefel explains why the betting value is on the home team.
Orioles vs. Guardians Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||6:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Cal Quantrill and the Cleveland Guardians absolutely shut down the Baltimore Orioles in game one of this series last night. Baltimore was held to just one hit and one run in a 5-1 victory for Cleveland.
Tonight the Guardians will give the ball to their hottest pitcher in Triston McKenzie, who has been rolling over the last two months, the last thing this slumping Orioles lineup wants to see. But, on the other hand, the Orioles have still been finding ways to win as they enter tonight just three games out of a Wild Card spot.
The man who can keep them afloat tonight is Jordan Lyles. Just like his counterpart, Lyles has thrown the ball well over his last few starts, and he comes into this matchup off a tremendous performance against Chicago.
So who will take Round 2 of this battle of AL playoff contenders? Let's take a closer look to find out.
Have the Orioles Peaked Offensively?
I covered the Orioles series last week when they played the Chicago White Sox. I noted the positive regression they were going to be victims of from the starters they were facing and the fact that this team has peaked offensively and likely were only going to go down from there. Given last night's performance, that still holds true.
Baltimore metrics do not show any upside offensively. Their team batting average is .236, and their team xBA is .238. Their team wOBA is .304, and their team xwOBA is .308.
Over the last two weeks, the Orioles are 23rd in wRC+ and 27th in team batting average. Those are not numbers you want to take against McKenzie.
He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last two months, as he's dominated in his last 10 starts. In that span, McKenzie has a 2.14 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP, and has struck out 69 batters.
Now he does surrender quite a bit of hard contact and is due for some regression as his FIP sits at 3.90, but given how bad the Orioles have been, they are not the team to knock him back tonight.
Guardians Lineup Has Favorable Matchup
We talked about how Lyles has pitched much better of late in the open, but a closer look at the box scores reveals that he has been walking a tightrope in and out of trouble. He has only surrendered less than seven hits in one of his last five starts.
The Guardians are not a team that is going to beat up on any pitcher as they do not have a ton of power or extra-base capability. Although, the meat of their order will have a significant split advantage over Lyles tonight.
Lyles has struggled mightily against left-handed pitching this season. Thus far, he's allowed them to hit .287 on the year, and his home run per nine rate is 1.72. In addition, his FIP against lefties this season is 5.15, which is well over his overall FIP of 4.30.
So expect the likes of Steven Kwan, Andres Gimenez, Jose Ramirez, and Josh Naylor to do the majority of the damage against Lyles tonight. Another thing those four hitters will have going for them is that they hit near the top of the order.
So if they don't get to him in the first, they will likely get to him in the third or fourth once the lineup turns over. Lyles' ERA jumps from 3.42 to 5.43 the second time through the order.
There's no need to get cute here. The Orioles are on a downward trend despite their record. They have been scuffling mightily of late, and a matchup against a red-hot McKenzie is trouble for them.
On the other side, Lyles falls right into the wheelhouse of this Guardians lineup. He has been way too fortunate of late, and his struggles against lefties will come to fruition on the scoreboard tonight.
Take the Guardians to win Game 2 of this series.
Pick: Guardians ML -175