mlb
02.04.2024

Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles Game Preview and Pick: O's Keep Scoring

The baseball world got a good glimpse of how good the Baltimore Orioles youth movement could be last season, and while it is still early, they have seemingly picked up where they left off. After winning their series over the Angels, the Orioles opened their series with Kansas City in the win column, and the deeper they get into the Royals starting rotation, the more success their offense should be able to find.

Game Preview

Craig Kimbrel was a big talking point during the 2023 postseason, as his struggles with the Philadelphia Phillies were costly. Even with a change of scenery in Baltimore, it seems Kimbrel’s days of intimidating hitters with his velocity and wind-up are long over. In his first appearance in an Orioles uniform, Kimbrel blew a 4-3 lead, allowing Kansas City to tie the game in the 9th.

Luckily for Kimbrel, the Orioles' young and talented lineup was there to bail him out, as Jordan Westburg was able to drive a pitch to the opposite field for a walk-off two-run home run. With that home run, not only did the Orioles win, but they would finish the game with nine hits. Two of those hits came from Ryan Mountcastle, who drove in three of the team's six runs with a two-run home run and an RBI single.

As Baltimore looks to secure consecutive series wins to start the season, they will have left-hander Cole Irvin on the bump for his first start. In Irvin’s first season with the Orioles, he started 12 games and threw a total of 77.1 innings, but the results were not what Baltimore was hoping for as he pitched to a 4.42 ERA.

Irvin will face a Royals lineup tonight with only 19 plate appearances against lefties. Regardless of who they face, Bobby Witt Jr. has been having the most success at the dish through their first four games, entering tonight 8-16 with six extra-base hits.

Getting the ball for Kansas City tonight will be right-hander Alec Marsh. In 2023, Marsh got his first taste of the big leagues with 17 appearances, eight of which were starts. In those 74.3 innings, the young right-hander pitched to a 5.69 ERA and, according to Baseball Savant, was in the 31st percentile in expected batting average.

Pick for the Game

Of all the teams to start your season against on the mound, the Baltimore Orioles are at the bottom of that list. With talent from top to bottom in their lineup, it is no surprise that Baltimore has scored six or more runs in three of their four games, and with their pitching matchup tonight, I think that trend can continue. Most Maryland sports betting apps have the Orioles team total set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play.

Through four games, the Orioles have had 104 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. In that span, Baltimore ranks 7th in wOBA, 4th in OPS, and 3rd in wRC+ against righties, per FanGraphs. Finding success at home against right-handed pitching is nothing new either, as Baltimore finished last season ranked 11th in wRC+ against righties at home.

While he had decent spring training, Alec Marsh is still a more than ideal matchup for this Orioles lineup. In 2023, according to Baseball Savant, Marsh was in the 30th percentile in hard hit percentage, 15th percentile in groundball percentage, and 12th percentile in walk rate. With Marsh also pitching to a 5.96 FIP on the road in 2023, the Orioles could be headed for another crooked number in the run column.

Recap

  • Baltimore Orioles Team Total Over 4.5 (-110) on DraftKings

*odds subject to change

🔥 Hottest sportsbooks:

Arvostelu 5/5
Arvostelu 5/5
Arvostelu 5/5
Arvostelu 5/5
Arvostelu 4/5

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