The Orioles and Blue Jays were out making trades yesterday to bolster their rosters, while on the field, Baltimore was securing a big series win over Toronto. With the opportunity for a sweep on the line tonight, we’ll preview the final game of the series before going over why I’ll be backing the Orioles to continue to tack runs on early in the game.
From the first till the sixth inning last night, it looked as if we were in store for a close game that remained tight until the end. However, that would not be the case, with the Orioles opening the floodgates in the seventh inning. Baltimore entered the top of the 7th with a 4-3 lead and would score nine runs over the next three innings to give them a commanding 13-3 win. Three Orioles players would record three hits and at least two RBIs in the game, including Gunnar Henderson, who went 3-5 with 4 RBIs.
Until the offense decided to completely take the game over, the Orioles were able to stay in the game thanks to a quality start from Kyle Bradish. With a chance to sweep the series tonight, Baltimore will send Grayson Rodriguez to the mound for his 14th start of the season. The right-hander has looked much more comfortable during his second stint in the majors, which was made clear in his last outing when he threw 6.1 scoreless innings.
Rodriguez will take on a Blue Jays lineup that fell flat for the third straight game last night, as they finished the loss with just five hits and 11 strikeouts. Home runs by Danny Jansen and Brandon Belt in the second and third inning would be the extent of the Toronto offense, as they would fail to cross home plate for the rest of the game.
Toronto will be rolling out another lefty on the mound tonight, with Yusei Kikuchi taking the ball for the 22nd time this season. Kikuchi will come into the game off a phenomenal performance in his last outing over the Dodgers, giving his team six innings of one-run baseball, which lowered his ERA to 3.79 in 109.3 innings of work.
The Orioles F5 team total is currently set at 2.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play which is priced at (+130). Baltimore has cashed on their F5 over in 18 of their last 25 games, and with the way their swinging the bat, they have shown no signs of slowing down. Last night was another prime example of the damage the team can do to left-handed pitching like they’ll face tonight.
Over the last month, the Orioles are hitting .290 against left-handed pitching on the road, which has them ranked 5th in wOBA and 3rd in OPS and wRC+. With those numbers and their sheer momentum as a team at the plate, they pose as a tough matchup for Yusei Kikuchi, who is in the 37th percentile in xERA/xwOBA and 21st percentile in expected slugging percentage.
The lefty has made two starts against the Orioles this season and lasted 4.2 innings in each of them while allowing a combined five earned runs on nine hits. Not only has he struggled a bit with Baltimore this season, but he is also pitching to a 4.83 FIP at home, and he finished July with a .293 batting average against.
Baltimore Orioles F5 Team Total Over 2.5 (+130)