We hit a nice underdog winner last night between the Tigers and Red Sox as Detroit took the series finale by a 7-2 score behind a strong outing from Matt Boyd.
Boyd was solid in throwing 6.1 frames of one-run ball on the night, but the fact he was immediately given a 5-0 lead by the Tigers’ offense surely put him at ease before taking the mound at Fenway. The Red Sox offense was once against stymied by a left-handed pitcher, which is something to keep an eye on in Red Sox games moving forward.
Jalen Beeks was roughed up in his big-league debut by yielding that five-run inning and allowing six earned runs over his four innings of work. The Tigers mash left-handed pitching, again something to keep in mind when they take on a lefty.
We will put that win at +147 into our back pocket and move onto tonight’s pick featuring the Orioles and Blue Jays from the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The Orioles are trudging through an incredibly disappointing season as they sit with a 19-42 record entering play, although the Blue Jays have also disappointed their way to a 27-35 mark on the season.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Andrew Cashner (5.02 ERA, 5.01 FIP, 1.67 WHIP) vs. J.A. Happ (4.08 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 1.13 WHIP)
After a brutal final couple of series’ to their road trip followed by a pair of losses to the Yankees, the Blue Jays finally got back in the win column with a walk-off win over Baltimore last night. Tonight, they will send J.A. Happ to the hill to kick off a three-game set against the Orioles.
Happ has been the Blue Jays’ best starter this season and projects to have a real nice outing tonight against a weak Orioles’ offense. Happ is missing bats at an incredibly high rate this season which bodes well against a strikeout-happy Orioles team. He brings a very strong 30% strikeout clip into action tonight while his 6.9% walk rate is solid and under his 8.7% career mark.
Happ was hit hard by a very strong Mariners offense a couple of home starts ago, but has otherwise has yielded just five runs over his last 21 frames at home spanning three starts, going exactly seven innings in each of those outings.
He is also taking on one of the league’s worst offenses. Baltimore enters play tonight sporting a .684 team OPS against left-handers, good for 27th league-wide. Baltimore has scored two runs or less in three of their last five games and have averaged just 3.4 runs per game on the road. Baltimore’s lackluster .277 wOBA and 72 wRC+ on the road both rank last in baseball. It’s a wonder where these numbers would be if it weren’t for the monster season Manny Machado is having.
The Blue Jays’ offense was struggling as well, until putting up a five-spot last night. Furthermore, I like their chances against the struggling Cashner tonight.
Cashner enters play with that ugly ERA and FIP while he’s getting touched up from both sides of the plate. He is yielding a .906 OPS to left-handed bats and an .889 OPS against righties. He has allowed at least three earned runs in eight of his last nine starts and has allowed eight earned runs over his last 9.2 innings on the road, spanning two starts. Cashner has pitched in a ton of traffic on the road with a 1.88 WHIP and a huge 13.1% walk rate away from Camden Yards. Against a Blue Jays’ offense that hits for a ton of power at home (.185 ISO, 6th), putting runners on base consistently will get Cashner into big-time trouble tonight.
The Blue Jays are sending their best starter to the mound, who has been both reliable and consistent, against a team that is simply not hitting this year. The Orioles are sending a pitcher who is yielding a ton of base runners and a ton of power this season against a team that hits for lots of power at home. With the Blue Jays feeling good after a nice win last night, I like them to follow that up with a big performance tonight.