Our in-house baseball expert Billy J (-1.05 Units) breaks down his best bets for tonight action!
The Pick: Over 4.5 Runs 1st 5 innings -110 currently on DraftKings
It is nearly the middle point of June and we have yet to see a matchup between the Orioles and Blue Jays. Well that ends today as these old AL East division opponents matchup today in what is a very lopsided line in the first game of the series. Some books have this matchup as high as -300. That’s a lot of cheddar to risk on a money line. Even in multi-team parlay.
So where do we see value in this Monday night matchup? For starters let’s look at the polar opposite starters. For the Blue Jays we have a Cy Young contender on the hill with Alek Manoah who is 7-1 in his 11 starts this year and leads the AL in ERA just slightly over Shane McClanahan of the Rays.
On the other side, the Orioles will continue to trot out Kyle Bradish and his ERA of 6.45 that almost rivals that of Patrick Corbin of the Nationals. It hasn’t been all that bad for Bradish the last couple starts although he has not gotten out of the 5th inning. In those two starts he only gave up two earned runs. The quality of opponent in this case is starting to pick up the pace offensively and poses a lineup with much more threats than the last two opponents Bradish faced in the Cubs and Mariners.
When looking at Bradish even further, it is difficult to pinpoint where we want to fade. For example, Bradish only has two road starts. The first road start was magnificent in which he was lights out at the Cardinals for 7 innings pitched, two earned runs, 11 K’s and a Win. Then there was the second start at Fenway where he got absolutely rocked by the Red Sox for 6 earned in just 1.2 innings pitched. Bradish will make just his third road start out of 9 starts this year.
Two further concerns about Bradish in this start are his control issues last start against the Cubs and the propensity to give up the long ball. Bradish walked five in his last start against the Cubs and if he is having any control issues tonight, the Jays lineup will have plenty on the pond to drive in. This leads us to the long ball here with Bradish who has surrendered 10 homeruns already this year and will face a Jays lineup that is ninth in the big leagues with 73 home runs.
Dating back to last year the Jays have won 6 straight against the Orioles. Although 2021, the Jays put up 72 runs in that 6-game stretch. One of which included a 22-7 slugfest on September 12th. I then looked to see Manoah’s splits against the Orioles last year and noticed that in his 3 starts last year versus the Orioles he wasn’t as dominant as expected and gave up 4 home runs to the Orioles. Granted we are comparing last year and it’s apples vs oranges at this point, but the Orioles have scored 16 runs in the last two games at the Royals and have that familiarity against Manoah.
We aren’t going to lay the chalk even at the Run Line of -140 or even consider the alternate run line of -2.5 runs. The books are baiting you to bite on the Jays being a big favorite, which could be a no brainer based on the above-mentioned details on Bradish. However, I see great value on the over in the first 5 innings with the Jays jumping on Bradish early and sprinkle in the possibility of the Orioles getting to Manoah a little bit. Playing that at -110 is the better value play and you will not have to lay any runs in this scenario.