#966 Baltimore Oriolesvs.#965 Toronto Blue Jays
Written by Ricky Dimon
Toronto Blue Jays (17-24 SU, 19-22 RL, 20-19-2 O/U) vs. Baltimore Orioles (23-15 SU, 22-16 RL, 19-17-2 O/U)
MLB: Friday, May 19, 2017 at 7:05 p.m. EST
The Line: Baltimore -113/Toronto +103 Total: 9
The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays will begin a three-game series when they square off at Oriole Park on Friday night. Toronto had won five in a row before losing three straight to Atlanta earlier this week. Baltimore was 1-5 in its last six contests following a setback against Detroit on Wednesday.
Blue Jays’ pitchers hit seven Atlanta hitters in the first three games of that series while allowing 27 runs during. The hit batsmen ultimately led to a pair of bench-clearing incidents on Wednesday. Toronto also has a problem at the plate, in that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been sidelined since April 21 with a right hamstring injury. However, he may be activated from the disabled list in time for this series against Baltimore. On the bright side, outfielder Jose Bautista went 3-for-4 with a homer on Wednesday and is hitting .355 with four homers in his past nine contests.
Right-hander Aaron Sanchez is getting the start for Toronto on Friday. Sanchez is 0-1 this season but boasts a 2.95 ERA through four starts. He found himself on the disabled list earlier in May due to a blister and also dealt with a bleeding finger in last Sunday’s outing against Seattle. In that contest, which the Blue Jays won 3-2, Sanchez lasted five innings and allowed only one run (unearned) on five hits and two walks.
Hot-hitting Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis has homered four times in the last four games and has seven RBIs and eight runs scored during a six-game hitting streak. He went deep twice in Tuesday’s 13-11 win over Detroit, both times in extra innings. Catcher Welington Castillo is 6-for-10 in his first two outings since coming off the disabled list.
Chris Tillman will oppose Sanchez on Friday. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA through just two starts so far this season. Tillman blanked the White Sox over five innings on May 7, when Baltimore coasted to a 4-0 victory. The 29-year-old was less successful six days later, as he threw only 61 of his 105 pitches for strikes and gave up three runs in 4.1 innings during a 4-3 loss at Kansas City.
The Toronto Blue Jays are
The Baltimore Orioles are:
The Blue Jays are coming off an emotional and certainly unsuccessful series against lowly Atlanta. Things won’t get any easier against a Baltimore club that is eight games over .500 and has scored 23 runs over its past three outings. Toronto is 7-15 in its last 22 on the road and 7-15 in its last 22 against winning opponents. The Orioles are 16-5 in their last 21 at home, 17-7 in their last 24 at home against opponents with road winning percentages under .400, 5-1 in the last six meetings between the two teams, and 5-2 in their last seven at home against the Blue Jays. Expect those trends to continue.
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A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.