Orioles vs. Blue Jays Pick – MLB April 23rd

Almost a month into the season I don’t really know what to make of the Toronto Blue Jays. I’m just going to come to the premature conclusion that they have another disappointing year that ends with them a few games back of the playoffs. To make an educated conclusion we’re going to have to wait another month or so, but it isn’t going to surprise me if the Jays are in the same position hovering a little over .500. This was going to be the year that Jose Reyes finally had an injury free season in Toronto. Well that didn’t turn out too well, as he’s already on the shelf after two weeks. It is becoming a recurring theme for the Blue Jays. Expectations and more expectations in the offseason, and then here they come to tease their fans with mediocre play when it comes time to play. Now that Reyes has left a big hole in that lineup, and the rotation looking less than desirable, how can I not come to the conclusion they will be no were but a .500 team next month. If anyone wants to argue otherwise with me I’ll be around. That is why they play the games, though.

The Jays continue their series with the Orioles tonight at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto. The Orioles have gotten off to a similar start to the Jays this year, entering tonight with a 7-9 record. I’m not really worried about them, they’ll probably be hanging around deep in the summer. The Jays though have big expectations considering the money they have spent on this team. They shouldn’t just be making the playoffs, they should be competing in them. The Blue Jays made it work with their pitching last night, earning a 4-2 win over the Orioles. A much different outcome than the high scoring affair in game 1 of the series, but it yielded the same winner. The Jays will look for another winner tonight with Drew Hutchison commanding the mound.

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays

Chris Tillman (2-1, 5.52 ERA) vs. Drew Hutchison (1-0, 7.20 ERA)

Hutchison has been on the mound this season, but I guess I should refrain from saying he has been commanding it. An effort like this in their rotation is what will keep the Jays back this season. Hutchison should be able to improve on that 7.20 ERA, or so I hope, but he’s been with the Blue Jays for three years now and hasn’t impressed all that much. In his first two years he posted ERAs of 4.60 and 4.48. Hutchison had a lot of work last year with 32 starts. This is the first time he is coming off such a season, so its worth keeping an eye on if he continues to get hammered due to arm exhaustion. Hutchison has allowed 12 runs in total in only 9 innings pitched in two starts. His only start at home got him reamed for 7 runs and a WHIP of 2.14 and .400 OBP.

Chris Tillman, going opposite Hutchison, can’t speak much himself. Tillman has a lower ERA than Hutchison but he is in fact putting more on the base pads per innings pitched. Tillman holds a 1.70 WHIP coupled with a .385 OBP. Tillman already played the Blue Jays a couple weeks back, getting hit for 7 runs in only 2 innings pitched. In the previous start before that against the Jays, he got hammered once again for 4 runs and 11 hits in just 6 innings pitched. Needless to say this Blue Jays lineup haven’t had any problems figuring this guy out. It doesn’t help that his opponents just had a recent look at him two weeks ago. I have to look at the OVER in this game, as I expect a game that plays out more like game 1 did on Tuesday.

PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (+109)