Toronto Blue Jays (61-71 SU, 58-74 RL, 62-64-6 O/U) vs Baltimore Orioles (67-65 SU, 67-65 RL, 65-64-3 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Thursday, August 31, 2017
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland
Lines: Baltimore -129/ Toronto +119
Major League Baseball action on Thursday evening and the Toronto Blue Jays will look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive when they rumble with the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland in game one of their four-game series. Pitching Probables: The Blue Jays will send out Marco Estrada (6-8, 5.04 ERA) in this one and the Orioles will counter with Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 4.88 ERA).
Offense Is Why Jays Won’t Be In The Postseason
The Toronto Blue Jays are not completely out of the race for a wildcard slot, but sitting 7.5 games out and with just 30 games left to [play, it is safe to say that they will not be a part of the postseason party this year. Their pitching has been solid at times and average at other times, but the one constant has been the fact that their offense has been horrible. A few years ago, this was one of the best offenses in the league and last year they ranked 10th in the league in scoring, after leading the league in 2015, but this year they have been in the bottom 3rd of the league all year and their lack of offense is why they will not be going to the postseason this year. They have many of the same faces that helped them lead the league in scoring a couple of years ago, but one player is missing and that is Edwin Encarnacion, who is now in Cleveland. His loss has really hurt this offense. The Jays were blanked at home against Boston on Tuesday night and they have now scored eight total runs in their last five losses and 10 runs in their last win. Not good at all. Marco Estrada gets the nod for the Blue Jays and he has gone 6-8 with a 5.04 ERA in 27 starts on the year, including 1-1 with a 6.61 ERA in his last three starts and 2-5 with a 5.28 ERA in 15 starts on the road. Estrada has gone 13-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 46 games (28 starts) during the month of August and he is 5-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) against the Orioles, including 2-1 with a 2.77 ERa in seven games (six starts) here at Camden Yards.
Toronto has been a poor offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 26th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.23 rpg, while also ranking 29th in hitting at .241 and 13th in homers with 179 . On the mound, they have been average so far this year as they come in ranked 18th in the league in ERA at 4.57, while also ranking 24th in WHIP at 1.41.
The Orioles Are Flying High At The Moment
For a while, it looked as if the Baltimore Orioles would be too far out of the race to make it back in, but after a 4-0 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night, they have now won six in a row and 19 of their last 30 to climb to within a game and a half of the Minnesota Twins, who are currently holding down the 2nd AL wild card slot. They are right in the thick of things and they hope to keep the winning going here at home, where they are now 40-26 on the year. Dylan Bundy got the start in the 4-0 win over Seattle and he went the distance, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 12 in the win. He is now 13-8 on the year with a 3.94 and the complete game shutout was the first of his career. The Orioles have now allowed just 2.00 rpg in their last five games while averaging 7.33 rpg over their last six games. They are flying high right now. Getting the nod for the Orioles in this one will be Jeremy Hellickson and he has gone 8-7 with a 4.88 ERA in 25 starts on the year overall, including 2-2 with a 5.46 ERA in five starts as a member of the Orioles. He started the year with Philadelphia. Hellickson has gone 13-18 with a 4.24 ERA in 39 starts during the month of August and he is 4-2 with a 5.09 ERa in 11 games (10 starts) here at Camden Yards in his career, while against the Blue Jays he has gone 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 16 starts.
Baltimore has a bit above average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 13th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.75 rpg, while also ranking 6th in hitting at .263 and 5th in homers with 181. On the mound, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 28th in the league in ERA at 4.92, while also ranking 29th in WHIP at 1.46.
- The Over is 9-4 in their last 13 Thursday games
- The Over is 9-0 in Estrada’s last nine starts during game one of a series
- The Over is 13-5 in their last 18 home games vs. a team with a losing record
- The Over is 4-1 in their last five during game one of a series
This is a very important series for the Orioles as they have climbed to within a game and a half of the 2nd wild card spot in the American League. They have been a solid home team, while the Jays have struggled on the road. The Orioles have been getting solid pitching of late, but it has really been their offense that has been carrying them and that offense should have a good showing against Marco Estrada, who has a 6.61 ERA in his last three starts and those games have averaged 12.33 rpg. Hellickson has a 5.46 ERA in five starts since joining the team and those five starts have averaged 11.60 rpg. He also has an 8.10 ERA in his last three starts and those games have put up 15.67 rpg. The Jays don’t have a good offense, but they should be able to get it going in this game against a weak starter. I say take the Over in this one.