With their loss last night, the Toronto Blue Jays' record against AL East teams fell to 6-16 on the season, while Baltimore is now 8-1 against the division in their last nine games. As the Blue Jays look for their first AL East series win since the end of April, they will need to win tonight’s game to give themselves a chance of that, and we’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting the total in this one.
Toronto and Baltimore’s offenses combined for 32 hits last night, but while the Blue Jays left 29 runners on base, the Orioles were able to cash in when they needed to so they could secure an 11-6 win. Eight of the Orioles' 17 hits went for extra bases, including a grand slam from the red-hot Gunnar Henderson and a solo home run from Aaron Hicks, who has figured some things out since leaving the Yankees.
Based on the box score, it may not look like it, but Baltimore also got a strong start from Dean Kremer, who went six innings with six strikeouts and two earned runs allowed. It will be Kyle Bradish on the mound tonight, as he is coming off a start in which he had ten punchouts in five innings. On the season, the right-hander has racked up 53 innings and pitched to a 4.25 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 16 walks.
Bradish will take on a Blue Jays offense that, despite their struggles against the division, is still dangerous and has scored a combined 13 runs in their past two games. In last night’s loss, Toronto had four players record multiple hits, including Alejandro Kirk, who went 3-5 with three RBIs, and Cavan Biggio, who went 2-2 with a home run as a pinch hitter.
Toronto’s starter last night, Chris Bassitt, lasted just three innings as he allowed eight runs on 11 hits, so the Blue Jays need a strong start tonight from José Berríos. The veteran right-hander has made 13 starts up to this point and thrown 77.3 innings, in which he has a 3.61 ERA to go along with 70 strikeouts and 24 walks.
The total for this AL East showdown can currently be found at 8.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play in this one. The over is 18-5-3 in the last 26 games these teams have played in Baltimore, and both sides have had a lot of success against right-handed pitching over the last month, so I see that trend continuing to be profitable tonight.
Since May 14th, the Orioles are 1st in wRC+, wOBA, and OPS against right-handed pitching at home. They’ll take on a starter in José Berríos, that has a 4.40 ERA on the road this season to go along with a batting average allowed of .264. In his career, Berríos has owned the Orioles, but this is a lineup with a .351 BAbip in this spot, and that has scored a combined 22 runs in the past two games, so I think tonight is the night they get to him.
On the other hand, Kyle Bradish is 0-2 in his career against the Blue Jays with a 6.95 ERA. The right-hander, who is in the 28th percentile in expected batting average and 17th percentile in hard-hit percentage, has a rough matchup tonight with a Blue Jays lineup that is 1st in wRC+, wOBA, and OPS against right-handed pitching on the road over the past month.