Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles MLB Pick – April 9th

The Shohei Ohtani hype train is officially steaming ahead at full speed! We backed Ohtani and the Angels last night on the run line getting dog money and picked up another win. Ohtani flirted with a perfect game as he retired the first nineteen batters he faced and eventually finished up with a line of seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit, and striking out twelve. It was a dominant performance for his debut in Los Angeles, and the media officially has Ohtani fever!

I mentioned that I was an Ohtani believer and was confident he would shut down Oakland, but this performance exceeded even my lofty expectations. Here is a fun fact for you that is buzzing around the internet right now, Ohtani has more home runs than Aaron Judge and more strikeouts than Max Scherzer so far this season. That is pretty damn impressive for a guy that only gets to hit three times a week and just made his second ever major league start. Ohtani became the third player ever to homer in three straight games and have a ten-strikeout game in the same season. One of the other guys to pull it off? Oh, just some guy named Babe Ruth. I can’t image Ohtani is going to be able to continue at this insane rate of production, but he is one heck of a ballplayer and is quickly becoming a superstar for the Angels. Today I will look at the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles.

The Toronto Blue Jays will travel to Baltimore today for game one of a three-game series with the Orioles. Toronto comes into this series winners of their last two series, most recently they took two out of three from the Texas Rangers. For Baltimore, they just took three out of four from the New York Yankees and won last night in extra innings 8-7 in the Bronx. Starting for the Orioles is Dylan Bundy (0-0 0.69 ERA), for Toronto, it is J.A. Happ (1-1 5.40 ERA). The Orioles are -120 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:04 PM PST from Camden Yards.

Dylan Bundy has been the next big thing for several years now and is finally starting to come into his own. Bundy was the number four overall pick in the 2011 draft and was fast-tracked to the big leagues maybe a little quicker than he should have been. Bundy had his first full season in the Baltimore rotation last year and enjoyed a solid season. He won thirteen games with an ERA of 4.20 and had some flashes of greatness along the way. Bundy is still just twenty-five years old, so he has a lot of room to grow, and I expect big things out of him this season.

Bundy has gotten off to a great start this season. He has pitched great, although he only has a pair of no decisions to show for it. Bundy has allowed just one earned run in thirteen innings while striking out fifteen against the Astros and the Twins in his first two starts. Both of those teams made the playoffs last season. This could be the year the Bundy really breaks out and turns into the ace that Baltimore hoped they were getting when they took him in the first round.

The Blue Jays will counter with J.A. Happ. Happ won twenty games two years ago and looked like an ace. Last year he regressed way back and actually had a losing record at 10-11. His ERA was still very solid at 3.53, but he wasn’t helping his team win. If you take that one great season away from Happ, he is a dead even .500 record pitcher over the course of his decade-long career. So, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that last season is a lot more like what we should expect from Happ than what he did in 2016.

This season has started slowly for Happ as he is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.40. He hasn’t made it past five and a third innings so far in either of his two starts and has been bitten by the long ball as he has given up three home runs in his ten innings of work. The Jays are going to need a lot more out of Happ this year if they want to contend in what should be a very good American League East.

This is a tight game between two fairly evenly matched teams. Neither of these two teams are going to compete with Boston and New York for the division title, but both should be hanging around the wild card chase all year long. So, what separates these two teams right now? Starting pitching.

I really like Dylan Bundy, he will at some point end up being an All-Star, his stuff is that good. And with this being his second full year as a starter I expect big things from him. He has been dominant so far this year, and I expect that to continue tonight against this Jays team that is 19th in the majors in batting average and on-base percentage.

For Happ? I just feel like this is a bad spot for him. He has struggled out of the gate this year and will be facing an Orioles team that has a lot of pop. Baltimore is 8th in home runs right now, and that’s with big power guys like Chris Davis and Johnathan Schoop struggling with just one long ball each. Eventually, this Baltimore team will end up near the top in homers in the majors. I expect them to hit Happ hard today.

The game is a tight one, and so is the line. I will take the Baltimore Orioles as small home favorites tonight! Give me the Baltimore Orioles at -120!

The Bet: Baltimore Orioles -120

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