Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#965 Toronto Blue Jays vs.
#966 Baltimore Orioles
Monday, September 5, 2022 at 4:35pm EDT
Written by Chris King

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It’s a battle of AL East teams on the diamond down in Charm City with a playoff spot potentially hanging in the balance. The Toronto Blue Jays are on the road as they play the second game of a doubleheader, which marks the second game of a critical four-game set, with the Baltimore Orioles Monday afternoon. Toronto closed a three-game series on the road with the Pirates Sunday afternoon looking for a sweep. They earned a 4-1 victory Saturday night in the middle game of the series and got the sweep on Sunday with a 4-3 win.  Baltimore was in action at home against Oakland Sunday looking for a sweep of their own as they rolled to an 8-1 triumph Saturday night. They fell on Sunday to the A's 5-0 at home in the finale.

Both of these teams are fighting for wild card position as Toronto is 2.5 games up on Baltimore for the third and final spot.

Blue Jays Trying to Maintain Playoff Position

The Blue Jays entered Sunday third in the AL East, six games behind the Yankees for the top spot. They held the final wild card spot in the American League, 2.5 games ahead of the Orioles for that position, and look to maintain that spot. On Saturday, Toronto got two hits each from George Springer (run) and Bo Bichette (run, three RBI) in the victory. Bichette had the big hit, a bases-clearing double with two outs in the seventh, to snap a 1-1 tie. Trevor Richards got the start but didn’t factor in the decision as he threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with no walks and three strikeouts. Yimi Garcia (4-4) earned the win as he tossed 1.2 scoreless frames, allowing no hits or walks while striking out one. Jordan Romano fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 29th save.

Kevin Gausman is on the mound for his 26th start of the season for the Blue Jays in this contest. He comes in 10-9 with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.247 WHIP, 23 walks and 164 strikeouts over 140.1 innings of work on the year. Gausman earned the win in his last start, which came at home against the Cubs Tuesday. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in an eventual 5-3 Blue Jays triumph. In his last three starts, Gausman is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, two walks and 22 strikeouts over 18 innings of work. Gausman lost his lone career start against the Orioles, which came at home on June 16. He gave up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in a game the Blue Jays lost 10-2. This marks his 71st career appearance and 63rd start at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Gausman has posted a 24-20 record with a 3.70 ERA, a 1.267 WHIP, 107 walks and 340 strikeouts over 382 innings of work in those outings.

Orioles Look to Gain Ground in Playoff Chase

Baltimore ran their win streak to four games as they took the second game of their series with the A’s Saturday night to climb a season-high 10 games over .500 on the year. The Orioles entered Sunday fourth in the AL East, 7.5 games behind the Yankees for the division lead though a disappointing loss to the A's on Sunday made the task of getting first place a long shot this late in the season. In the wild card race, they stood 2.5 games behind Toronto for the final wild card spot. On Saturday, Baltimore used the power game, blasting five homers, to earn the one-sided triumph. Ryan Mountcastle (his 20th and 21st) homered twice while Cedric Mullins (his 13th), Anthony Santander (his 25th) and Adley Rutschman (his ninth) each went deep as well. Austin Voth didn’t factor in the decision as he threw 3.1 innings, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts over 3.1 innings of work. Keegan Akin (3-1) earned the win in relief as he threw two scoreless innings, allowing no hits with no walks and one strikeout.

Jordan Lyles takes the hill for his 28th start of the season for the Orioles in this contest. He comes in 10-9 with a 4.25 ERA, a 1.444 WHIP, 48 walks and 123 strikeouts over 152.1 innings of work on the year. Lyles earned the win in his last start, which came on the road against Cleveland Wednesday. He threw 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in a 4-0 Baltimore victory. In his last three starts, Lyles is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP, three walks and nine strikeouts over 17.2 innings of action. Lyles makes his seventh career appearance and sixth start against the Blue Jays in this contest. He is 3-1 with a 6.67 ERA, a 1.871 WHIP, 11 walks and 15 strikeouts over 28.1 innings of work against them. Lyles is 4-5 with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.458 WHIP, 22 walks and 57 strikeouts over 83 innings in 15 career appearances, 14 starts, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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This series is the first of three series over the final month of the regular season between these teams. The Blue Jays and Orioles will meet 10 times between Monday and the end of the season, which will go a long way to determining who ends up in the playoff field. Lyles has pitched well at home this season, posting a 2.94 ERA over 70.1 innings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. One has to wonder if the pressure of the whole situation will start to take a toll on the young Orioles, who weren’t expected to be anywhere near a postseason spot as we got to this point of the year. Meanwhile, Toronto has at least been here before and Gausman is extremely tough on the road, going 6-3 with a 2.01 ERA over 76 innings of work. The Blue Jays have the edge on the mound and their experience factor pays dividends in this one. Take Toronto to take the nightcap.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays ML

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Toronto has seen the over hit in 67 of their 131 games this season, with two pushes, entering Sunday’s action. The Blue Jays are 7th in runs per game with 4.64 runs per contest, though that number climbs slightly to 4.92 runs per game on the road this season. That is 4th in the majors when it comes to run production on the road. Toronto’s average total this season is 8.85 runs per game and that number slips to 8.76 runs per game on the road. Baltimore has seen the under post a 69-57-6 mark on the season entering Sunday’s action. The Orioles are 20th with an average of 4.23 runs per game. That number increases slightly to an average of 4.45 runs per game at home on the season. Baltimore sees an average total of 8.26 runs per game this year, a number that remains flat at 8.26 runs a game at home. Both pitchers have fared well in their respective roles in relation to home/road splits this season. Look for this game to wind up under the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.