Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#965 Baltimore Orioles 8.5 vs.
#966 Cleveland Indians -270
Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 6:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of American League rivals looking to gain some momentum open up a set on the shores of Lake Erie. The Baltimore Orioles are on the road as they play the first game of a four-game set against the Cleveland Indians Thursday night. Baltimore played the second game of a doubleheader against the Yankees Wednesday night after back to back rainouts Monday and Tuesday: they were defeated 5-3 in the opener Wednesday afternoon. Cleveland split a two-game set in the Windy City with the White Sox, rolling to a 9-0 win Tuesday. The Indians won the season series last season 5-2, including taking two of three at home in the last series August 17-19, 2018.

Baltimore Orioles Kick Off Series After Busy Wednesday

Baltimore was washed out on Monday and Tuesday, forcing them into a doubleheader Wednesday. After dropping the opening game of that doubleheader, the Orioles had dropped five of their last six games heading into Wednesday night’s second game: they fell 11.5 games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East. Baltimore got two hits from Joey Rickard and Austin Wynns (RBI) while Renato Nunez (his seventh) and Trey Mancini (his eighth) each homered in the loss. David Hess (1-5) took the loss as he allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts over six innings.

Dan Straily makes his eighth appearance, seventh start, for the Orioles in this contest hoping to get some positive momentum. He comes in 1-3 with an 8.23 ERA, a 1.829 WHIP, 12 walks and 15 strikeouts over 27.1 innings of action this year. Straily took the loss in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Angels. He threw 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in an 8-3 Orioles loss. Straily is 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA, a 1.82 WHIP, six walks and nine strikeouts over 12.2 innings in his last three starts. He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.286 WHIP, six walks and 11 strikeouts over 11.2 innings in two career starts against the Indians. Straily recorded a no-decision in his lone start at Progressive Field, which came on July 8, 2015 with the Astros. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a 4-2 Houston loss.

Cleveland Indians Trying to Gain Ground in AL Central

Cleveland split a short two-game set on the south side of Chicago with the White Sox as they rolled to a shutout win on Tuesday. The Indians enter this contest 4.5 games behind the Twins in the AL Central race. Jordan Luplow (his third and fourth), Jose Ramirez (his fourth), Roberto Perez (his fifth) and Jake Bauers (his fourth) all went deep in the contest as the Tribe launched five homers. Carlos Carrasco (4-3) earned the win as he threw seven shutout frames in the game. He allowed six hits with no walks and six strikeouts before turning things over to the bullpen.

Trevor Bauer takes the ball to log his 10th start of the season for the Indians in this contest. He comes in 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA, a 1.106 WHIP, 27 walks and 72 strikeouts over 59.2 innings of work this season. Bauer didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came on the road against Oakland Saturday afternoon. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs (none earned) on two hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in a 3-2 Indians loss as the bullpen gave up the winning run in the ninth. Bauer is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, eight walks and 27 strikeouts over 19 innings of work in his last three starts. He is 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA, a 1.442 WHIP, 13 walks and 35 strikeouts over 34.2 innings in six career starts against the Orioles. Bauer is 33-21 with a 3.99 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, 184 walks and 527 strikeouts over 505.1 innings in 85 career appearances, 81 starts, at Progressive Field.

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Baltimore is going to be fatigued after having to play a doubleheader in the Bronx on Wednesday against the Yankees. That’s going to take a toll on a beleaguered Orioles pitching staff. While Bauer has struggled a bit in his last three starts and has had little success against Baltimore in his career, he still is leaps and bounds ahead of Straily’s performance this season. Cleveland has been looking for a spark offensively this season: four games against Baltimore is as good a chance as you’re going to get. Look for the Indians to get the upper hand in this one.

Prediction: Cleveland Indians -1.5

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Straily has been bad this season after being acquired at the start of the year. It’s not even that he’s been the victim of extremely bad luck as his FIP ERA is still a robust 7.72 on the year. Opposing hitters have a .325/.386/.658 slash line against Straily this season and a 1.044 OPS is ghastly for a pitcher. He hasn’t gone deeper than five innings in any of his outings this season, which is going to tax a bullpen that is already overworked and dismal. Bauer is a solid starter and he has some filthy stuff to work with on the mound. The Indians are at home: can they come up with the victory here behind of their top-tier starters?

The over is 4-0 in the Orioles’ last four games on Thursday, 4-1 in their last five road games against a right-handed starter and 6-2 in their last 8 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. Cleveland has seen the over go 4-1 in Bauer’s last 5 home starts vs. a team with a losing record, 4-1 in Bauer’s last five starts at home and 6-2 in his last eight starts in series openers. Look for the Indians to get the better of Straily and deliver this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.