Toronto Blue Jays (60-72 SU, 57-75 ATS, 69-57-6 O/U) at Baltimore Orioles (39-94 SU, 55-78 ATS, 58-70-5 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Aug. 29, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md., 7:05 p.m. EDT.
It has been a tough slog this year for Alex Cobb and the Baltimore Orioles, but the right-hander is trying to finish up a solid August as he takes the mound Wednesday night in the finale of their three-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Blue Jays rookie Borucki making progress
Ryan Borucki (3-3, 4.12 ERA) looks to win back-to-back starts for the second time this season since being promoted in June.
The rookie left-hander turned was effective versus Philadelphia on Friday, allowing two runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 victory. Borucki has recorded all three of his wins over his last five starts, getting by despite a 6.00 ERA because Toronto has backed him with 8.63 runs per start in that stretch.
The 24-year-old’s next challenge is to carry his form at home to the road, where he is 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA in six starts. Borucki has been drilled for 10 runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings in his last two outings south of the border and failed to make it out of the first inning versus the New York Yankees on Aug. 19.
Borucki, who is making his first career appearance versus Baltimore, is 1-1 with an 8.62 ERA in four starts against AL East rivals. All four of them, though, have come against leaders Boston and New York.
Cobb pitching better of late for Orioles
Mired in the worst season of his career, Cobb (4-15, 5.00 ERA) has been one of Baltimore’s best starters in August, going 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts.
The damage, though, has already been done as the right-hander is tied for the major league lead in losses and has the most of any Orioles pitcher since Jeremy Guthrie went 9-17 in 2011.
Cobb was more than adequate against the New York Yankees on Friday, conceding a two-run homer to Luke Voit and just two other hits over six innings. He left with the score tied, but the Orioles eventually suffered a 7-5 defeat in 10 innings.
Despite his improved form of late, Cobb has yet to record a victory at home for Baltimore. He is 0-7 with a 4.80 ERA in nine starts at Camden Yards, with the Orioles backing him with two runs or less in six of them.
Cobb has lost both his starts to the Blue Jays this year, ending his worst outing of 2018 in an 13-3 rout at Rogers Centre on June 10 when he was tagged for nine runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings. Baltimore’s defense was the issue in a 4-1 loss July 21 as three of the four runs the righty gave up over five innings were unearned.
He is 3-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 10 lifetime starts against Toronto, including 1-5 with a 5.27 ERA in the last eight. While Cobb has yielded two or fewer runs in his last four outings versus division rivals, he is still 2-7 with a 5.31 ERA in 11 starts against the AL East in 2018.
Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson is 5 for 15 with a homer and two doubles against Cobb, but Justin Smoak is at the opposite end of the spectrum with six strikeouts in their matchups while going hitless in 15 at-bats.
The Orioles are:
- 0-9 in Cobb’s last nine home starts.
- 1-6 in Cobb’s last seven starts vs. AL East teams.
- 0-5 in Cobb’s last five starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- The over is 4-1 in Cobb’s last five starts during game 3 of a series.
- The over is 7-3-1 in their last 11 games vs. starters with a WHIP above 1.30.
- The over is 4-0 in Cobb’s last four Wednesday starts.
The Blue Jays are:
- 5-1 in Borucki’s last six starts.
- 5-2 in their last seven games vs. right-handed starters.
- 4-1 in Borucki’s last five road starts.
- The over is 11-4 in their last 15 games vs. right-handed starters.
- The over is 5-0 in Borucki’s last five road starts.
- The over is 8-3 in their last 11 during game 3 of a series.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Even with Cobb’s improved numbers of late, it is difficult to take the Orioles considering they are 3-12 this year versus the Blue Jays and riding back-to-back wins for the first time this month. Borucki is far from a sure thing, but the Blue Jays are hitting the ball well enough when he pitches to give themselves a chance to win.
Prediction: Pick: Blue Jays +103
Full-Game Total Pick
Between Borucki’s road form and Cobb’s previous outings against Toronto coupled with his struggles at home, the over is a strong play.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 9 runs (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The teams have reached at least 25 in both games of this series and touched 42 in Baltimore’s 12-5 victory Tuesday night. Toronto’s pitchers have also allowed 10 or more hits in five straight games and six or more runs in the last four.
Prediction: Pick: Over 27.5 Runs+Hits+Errors (-115)
First Five Innings Side Pick
Taking the half-run here versus the straight money line at -105 is a hedge against Borucki’s road form. Additionally, the score has been tied after five innings in four of his last 11 starts, and the same has held true for Cobb in three of his last 12. Cobb’s improved form despite his winless record at home is another compelling reason to grab the half-run.
Prediction: Pick: Blue Jays +0.5 runs (-145)
First Five Innings Total Bet
This is a contrast in trends because there have been at least five runs scored in the first five innings of Borucki’s last five starts, while Cobb and the Orioles have come under five in his last four. Cobb’s struggles versus Toronto this year and Borucki’s road form, though, make the over more appealing.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 5 runs (-105)
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
This pick is against the grain of the Blue Jays winning, but Borichuk has a 9.28 ERA in the first inning and has given up runs in that opening frame in three of his last four starts. Cobb, on the other hand, has given up just one first-inning run in his last 12 starts.
Additionally, the Orioles scored first in both of his losses to the Blue Jays this year.
Prediction: Pick: Orioles to score first (+125)