With their win last night over the Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles picked up their fifth straight series win and brought their record to 8-2 over their previous ten games. Tonight the Orioles will be back on the road to take on a Tigers team they recently swept, and we’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing on the run line.
The Detroit Tigers had the opportunity to pick up a sweep yesterday afternoon in Milwaukee, but they could not overcome an early deficit. Starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen let up five runs in the first three innings, which for a Tigers offense tied for 26th in the league in BAbip and second in the league in strikeout percentage was just too much to rally behind from.
On the mound tonight for Detroit will be young lefty Joey Wentz, who will make his fifth start of the season. In 16.7 innings of work up to this point, Wentz has thrown to a 7.56 ERA with 14 strikeouts and eight walks. The lefty's most recent start came against the Orioles, a game in which he threw four innings with four strikeouts and five earned runs allowed, which led to him picking up his third loss of the year.
Wentz will face an Orioles lineup tonight that has continued to swing the bat well after the last time he pitched against them. In their three-game series against the Red Sox, Baltimore scored a total of 17 runs which brought them up to 8th in the league in OPS+ and tied for 6th in OBP. In last night’s win, outfielder Cedric Mullins was able to pick up two more hits and bring his season RBI total up to 20.
Baltimore will hand the ball to Kyle Gibson tonight to make his sixth start of the season. The veteran righty has thrown 30 innings so far this season and currently has a 3.60 ERA with 24 strikeouts and nine walks. Gibson’s most recent start came against the Tigers, and it was his best of the year, as he threw 6 ⅓ innings with 11 strikeouts and just two hits allowed.
The Orioles' run line of (-1.5) is currently priced at +115, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Baltimore is 4-0 straight up in their last four games against a lefty starter, while Detroit is 1-5 in their previous six games against a righty starter. Not only does Baltimore have a lot of momentum at the moment, but they will face a starter tonight they recently had a lot of success against.
Wentz is a heavy flyball pitcher with a 36.5% flyball rate, and currently, his two most thrown pitches, his fastball, and cutter, have warranted WOBA’s of .434 or better. Baltimore saw the ball well in his most recent outing against them, and they are hitting .261 against lefties this season.
Kyle Gibson was dominant against the Tigers in his most recent performance, and with Detroit hitting .208 against righties this season, there is no reason why he can’t do it again tonight. It seems as if Gibson has found something with his sweeper, which has warranted a .125 batting average against it. Gibson’s sweeper got him the most swinging strikes in his most recent outing against the Tigers, and I think he can produce similar numbers tonight.
Detroit Tigers (-1.5)(+115)