Orioles vs Blue Jays: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups (8/1/23)

With the trade deadline finally a thing of the past, the Orioles and Blue Jays will be fully locked into this game, one that could have enormous implications for both teams’ seasons. Toronto is still fighting for a postseason berth, while Baltimore’s charmed run continues, as they look to secure the AL East title and the league’s top seed. Let’s take a look at the odds for this divisional clash, where the prediction is an Orioles win and for the run total of 8.5 to go over at -118 odds

Orioles Vs. Blue Jays Prediction

The Orioles are beginning to pull away; they’re the betting favorites to win the AL East for the first time this year, with a steadily-growing lead of 1.5 games over a floundering Rays squad. The O’s have cooled off a bit, but so has the competition; the Rangers’ seven losses in their past 10 games have helped Baltimore open up a lead of 4.5 games in the race for the AL’s top seed.

They’ll be throwing Kyle Bradish, who has taken an enormous jump in year 2 in the Show. He’s pulled his ERA down from 4.90 a year ago to 3.29 this season, and his WHIP is also much better, a figure of 1.144 compared to 1.402 a year ago. The 26 year old Bradish will take on a much more veteran arm, lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Ryu is making his season debut after Tommy John surgery last June. He was on his way to a brutal campaign with a 5.67 ERA in the early going, after posting a figure of 4.37 in 2021. At age 36, this is likely his last shot; he’s in the final year of a four-year contract, so if he’s ineffective again, it’s hard to imagine that there will be much of a market for him going into his age-37 season.

His return has also put the Blue Jays in the interesting position of being healthy enough to implement a six-man rotation, although with a huge two months left to go, they might eventually choose to consolidate back down to five and have their best arms throwing more routinely.

I truly do wish the best for Ryu, there’s nothing better than a great comeback story. But in the immediate term, it’s hard to bet on someone who hasn’t thrown in a pro game in over a year, especially someone who hasn’t thrown particularly well in closer to 3 years. I’ll back Baltimore on the moneyline, while the scoring total is a bit of a tougher call. We’ll get into this a bit later, but I do think it’s a somewhat tough spot for Bradish, and it’s impossible to bet on Ryu to be lights out after such a long time away, so I’ll take the over for a total of 8.5.

Orioles Vs. Blue Jays Prediction: Orioles ML (-102), o8.5 runs (-118)

Orioles Vs. Blue Jays Odds

The Blue Jays are slight home favorites at -118, while the Orioles are -102. For a run total of 8.5, the over is also -118, while the under sits at -102.

Orioles Vs. Blue Jays Key Matchups

Kyle Bradish Vs. Contact Bats
Bradish struggles a bit with limiting exit velocity and hard hits, but confusingly enough, does not allow too many barrels or home runs. He also doesn’t walk many batters, leaving him with an old-school achilles heel; contact hitters. Unfortunately for him, Toronto’s offense is 5th in the majors in batting average with a .262 team mark, so there are several guys who can hurt him.

Bo Bichette is comfortably at the top of that list. He’s on his way to a third-consecutive season leading the AL in hits, and his .321 batting average is tops in the junior circuit. Not too far behind him is Whit Merrifield, who is also hitting over .300. There’s a big drop off after those two, but a pair of the best contact bats in the entire sport hitting back-to-back is a serious threat.

After that duo, the next group is composed of Kevin Kiermaier, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Matt Chapman, all of whom are hitting right around the .260s or .270s, with the latter two providing some good power as well.

Hyun-Jin Ryu Vs. Righty Bats
While this hasn’t been a trend throughout his career, the southpaw Ryu has struggled with right-handed hitters over the past couple of seasons, a period in which he has struggled overall. Baltimore often trots out a fairly left-handed lineup, so it’ll be interesting to see if they platoon to any degree against Ryu, or if they trust his career split, which actually does slightly favor lefty bats.

Unshockingly, the conversation has to begin with Adley Rutschman, a switch hitter who will swing from the right side against Ryu, and has a serious platoon split. Against lefties, hitting righty, the young All Stars is putting up an OPS of .870, nearly 100 points higher than from the other side of the plate.

The next prolific “righty” in the Baltimore lineup is another switch hitter, Anthony Santander, who leads the team with 18 homers and is just behind Rutschman in several other offensive categories. He doesn’t have as dramatic of a split as the O’s catcher, but he does prefer to hit left-handers as well.

There are a couple of solid “true” righty bats in the lineup, starting with Ryan Mountcastle, who is on a hot streak right now and has victimized lefties all year with an OPS over 1.000. Lastly, there’s Austin Hays, the team batting average leader, but he has a slight reverse-split. There are a lot of potential stumbling points for Ryu in this Orioles lineup, a major reason I have them hitting the -102 moneyline in my Orioles vs. Blue Jays prediction.

Orioles Vs. Blue Jays Starting Lineups

Orioles Starting Lineup
C A. Rutschman S
3B G. Henderson L
RF A. Santander S
1B R. O’Hearn L
DH R. Mountcastle R
2B A. Frazier L
LF A. Hays R
CF C. Cowser L
SS J. Mateo R

Blue Jays Starting Lineup
2B W. Merrifield R
SS B. Bichette R
DH B. Belt L
1B V. Guerrero Jr. R
3B M. Chapman R
LF D. Varsho L
RF G. Springer R
C D. Jansen R
CF K. Kiermaier L

From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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