Baltimore Orioles (+150) at New York Yankees (-172, 8.5 o/u)
The New York Yankees (47-46, 26-20 Home) just won’t go away. The AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles (53-39, 20-25 Away) had a chance to effectively bury the Pinstripes in their current four-game series at Yankee Stadium, but New York has taken the first two and now trails Baltimore by just 6.5 games. They can climb a game closer and ensure a morale-boosting series win when they send Michael Pineda to the mound tonight to face Yovani Gallardo (7:05 PM Eastern).
The back-to-back wins over Baltimore have stretched New York’s overall win-streak to three and moved the team back above .500 for only the second time this season. While the 6.5-game divisional deficit is still a healthy margin, the Yankees are only five back of the second Wild Card spot in the AL. Hope springs eternal in the Big Apple.
They might not be climbing any closer with Pineda (3-9, 5.56 ERA) on the mound, though. The Dominican hasn’t recorded a win since June 7 against the lowly Los Angeles Angels; since then, he’s been saddled with three no-decisions and three losses, including two straight against the White Sox and Red Sox.
Last time out against Boston, he went 5.0 innings, allowing five hits and five runs in a 5-3 setback.
The Orioles will be looking to end a three-game losing streak that has seen their AL East lead over the Red Sox whittled to a half game.
Gallardo (3-1, 5.77 ERA) has made just ten starts this season and doesn’t have a decision in his last trio of games, failing to get past the fifth inning in all three. His last outing against Tampa doesn’t inspire confidence as he went 5.0 innings, allowing eight hits and three runs; though Baltimore did emerge with a 4-3 win thanks to a shutdown effort from the pen.
The usually potent Oriole offense has been completely silenced in the first two games of this series, scoring just two runs over 18 innings. They’ve mustered a mere nine hits over that span, and the bottom of the order has been particularly useless. The five through nine spots in the lineup are a combined 2-for-30.
But if Baltimore has proved one thing this season, it’s that they can’t be kept off the scoreboard for long. They are averaging nearly five runs per game and have five players with at least fifteen home runs (including Mark Trumbo, who leads the majors with 28). The O’s also have recent history on their side, going 9-4 SU in their last 13 games against New York.
I see the Oriole bats touching up the inconsistent Pineda tonight, which means value on Baltimore +150.
Pick: Orioles (+150).
(Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/].)