Toronto Blue Jays (38-31) at Baltimore Orioles (42-25)
Game Info: Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 1:05 p.m. EST (Oriole Park at Camden Yards)
Betting Odds: Orioles (-125) / Over/Under (9)
Pick: Orioles ML (-125)
Thursday's afternoon baseball slate brings us a rubber match between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, with both squads looking to take the series before they head out on the road once again.
Toronto sits 10.0 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East standings, but they are an extremely dangerous team with the way that they can light up the board. As we look at the averages throughout their lineup, I am not sure that there is another team that has this many guys batting in the .270+ range. Most impressively though, is Bo Bichette. Through his first 295 at-bats this season, he is batting .319 with a shocking 14 home runs and 44 RBIs. If he is able to keep this up, he will surely be in the MVP conversation when the regular season comes to a close. On the bump for the Blue Jays for Thursday's game will be Yusei Kikuchi. Throughout his five years in the league up until this point, he has been about the same pitcher year after year. That has not changed one bit this season, as he comes in with a 4.34 ERA in his first 13 games started. Can he turn the corner against a division foe in the Orioles?
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Baltimore continues to slowly but surely roll, as they are now only 5.0 games back of the leading Rays as we head near the midpoint of the season. Even though they were stifled yesterday by Jose Berrios, the night before that, they displayed how potent their offense can truly be as they put up 11 runs on 17 hits. Adley Rutschman is certainly a name to watch in this one, as game by game he continues to bud into the star that everyone predicted he would turn into in the big leagues. On the mound for today's game, the Orioles will have 28 year-old right hander, Tyler Wells. He has pitched immaculate this campaign, as he boasts an imposing 3.24 ERA throughout his first 13 games pitched this season. Clearly the Orioles staff found something in the offseason for him to work on, as the two years prior to this one he ended the season with a 4+ ERA. Can he stymie the bats of the Blue Jays today?
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Baltimore is 25-11 when playing as the favorite
- The Orioles are 16-8 when playing as the home favorite
- Toronto is 7-16 in division games
Looking at the pitching matchup in this game, I see a glaring difference in the way the two starting pitcher have performed this season. For sure, Kikuchi has looked better than his norm in his last few starts, but this is where it ends today, as the Orioles are primed to tee off against him. Give me the O's to secure the series win and inch closer to the Rays atop the AL East!
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