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Orioles vs. Indians Odds, Preview, Prediction: Expect Plenty of Runs in Matinee Showdown (Thursday, June 17)

Orioles vs. Indians Odds, Preview, Prediction: Expect Plenty of Runs in Matinee Showdown (Thursday, June 17) article feature image

Ron Schwane/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Eli Morgan.

Orioles vs. Indians Odds

Orioles Odds +128
Indians Odds -152
Over/Under 9
Time 1:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Thursday morning via FanDuel.

It is getaway day in Cleveland as the Indians try to sweep a four-game set against the Baltimore Orioles.

Cleveland is averaging 6.33 runs per game this series, but has won two games by one run. Both teams could use a victory, as Baltimore is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and Cleveland is trying to keep pace with the Chicago White Sox.

The pitching matchup has a lot to be desired and neither offense is worth writing home about entering Thursday’s matchup. Maybe there is a way to get an edge in this game ahead of Father’s Day weekend.

Underwhelming Lopez Gets Starting Nod for Orioles

Simply put, Jorge Lopez is not a good pitcher and wouldn’t be starting for majority of teams. He gets high marks for improving his strikeouts per nine innings by almost three and stranding more baserunners from 2020, but Lopez is barely pitching below his 5.95 career ERA this season.

His BABIP doesn’t help him either, because his .319 average this season is .001 below his career average. According to FIP-, the last time Lopez was a league-average pitcher was 2015 when he threw 10 innings over two starts.

Baltimore has a 77 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) away from home. It’s even worse against right-handed pitchers (65). The Orioles are a bottom-five offense that can’t say luck is not on their side, because their .282 road BABIP is 15th in baseball.

The Orioles are also bottom two in Hard Hit percentage and top two in Soft Hit percentage. That isn’t good for a team that has one of the lower Groundball-to-Flyball ratios in baseball.

Baltimore’s offense has a small window to capitalize on Cleveland’s spot starter and force the Indians to win with their bats.

Morgan Hoping for Better Showing Than Debut Start

Eli Morgan gets the spot start for Cleveland. He made his major league debut May 28 against Toronto and was baptized by fire so to speak. The 25-year-old gave up eight hits and six runs over 2 2/3 innings, while walking two and fanning one batter. His numbers in AAA have been less than desirable. Morgan has a 4.67 ERA with a 15:8 K/BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings pitched.

In Morgan’s defense, his first start was in less than ideal conditions. The game-time temperature was 50 degrees with winds blowing in up to 25 miles per hour. That also makes giving up six runs in two-plus innings that much more impressive.

Expect a fair amount of bullpen work in this game. Cleveland is top 10 in Reliever WAR, ERA, Expected Fielder Independent Pitching (xFIP), and has the best Strikeouts Per 9 among all bullpens.

Cleveland’s relievers may have to stop this game from getting out of hand if the offense forgets how to hit for the first time this series. Despite 19 runs in three games, the Indians are still one of the worst home offenses against righties. It has improved to almost being a positive in Weighted Runs Above Average (-1.7) which is a good sign as they try to stay in the AL Central race.

It is a contact-driven offense as they strike out fewer than 20% of the time against right-handers at home and walk less than nine percent of plate appearances.

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Orioles-Indians Pick

This matchup has “white flag” written all over it, which means the final score will be 1-0 or 13-10 in my opinion.

I tend to think it will be more the latter than former, and based off the quick turnaround of posting a line, betting the run total is the best value. Two of three games this series have met or surpassed that total and the weather will not be a factor.

Here’s to hoping for weird day baseball!

Pick: Total Over 9 Runs (-120 — play to -135)

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