We got burned pretty badly with Tuesday’s MLB pick, as Homer Bailey decided to finally show up for the first time in three 2017 starts and gave up just one run to the dangerous Rockies in the explosive Coors Field. Cincinnati did their part (8 runs) in helping us cover a 12.5 Over, but Colorado left 14 batters on base and turned 10 hits into one run into an abomination.
It’s onward and upward for us, though, as we turn to a fun showdown at Miller Park between the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers. So far the Brew Crew have dominated this series, as Eric Thames has mashed three home runs en route to a 2-0 series lead. The Brewers have now won two straight and 6 of their last 10, helping them further distance themselves from the Chicago Cubs and hold onto first in the NL Central at 46-40.
While the Brewers will hope to widen the gap even more with another nice home win, the O’s could have other plans. Baltimore will be confiding in a young arm to get them a tough road win, but their offense remains plenty dangerous. Does that mean an Orioles upset is on it’s way? Should we trust in Milwaukee at home, or should we simply attack the Total? Let’s dive a little deeper into this matchup to find out:
Baltimore Orioles (+118) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-138) Total: 10
Jayson Aquino (1-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (3-4, 4.36 ERA)
The pitching is not great today and we have two powerful offenses facing off in a hitter’s park. We can 100% target the Over with a decent amount of confidence. That’s not the bet we’re really chasing, though. The Orioles provide some value at first glance and the Brewers are in a groove and could be a pretty safe bet at home in this one. We just need to gauge which side we like more.
Jayson Aquino takes the mound for the Orioles and right away we can’t be overly confident in the Orioles. The 24-year old southpaw has a nice array of pitches to work with and has the potential to rack up Ks, but we haven’t seen the results yet on a consistent basis in the minors and his first few appearances in the big leagues haven’t gone as planned, either.
We’re mostly seeing a lot of contact, not enough Ks and a lack of reliable control. None of that is good for an inexperienced arm on the road in a hitter’s park against a potent offense like Milwaukee’s. It’s certainly true that Aquino’s talent and Milwaukee’s lack of familiarity with him could lead to a successful outing, but as we know with young pitchers, their early efforts can be surprisingly impressive or depressingly challenging.
I’d opt for the latter here, all things considered. The sample size is small, but Aquino hasn’t shown enough yet to really trust him in a hostile environment. He did hold his own at home against the Red Sox in his lone career start this year, but even in that game he still allowed 12 fly balls, walked three and only struck out two batters. He survived that was a performance he could hope to build on, but it’s not like he passed with flying colors.
Start number two could get a lot trickier, especially when we factor in that Milwaukee is right around average or better when facing lefties. That’s not glowing praise, but at home against an arm still trying to figure things out, we could see their average numbers experience a considerable boost.
On the other side is the veteran Matt Garza, who has surprisingly given the Brewers some solid outings this year. The 33-year old hurler doesn’t sport a lethal K rate and gives up contact, but lately it’s been of the soft variety and he’s managed games at a decent level. He’s still giving up runs, but Garza fared well in his last start at home against the Marlins (6 hits, 2 runs) and has a few gems under his belt.
I don’t love this matchup at home for him (Garza owns a 4.71 ERA at Miller Park), as the Orioles are 10th in power versus righties on the year and Garza has coughed up the long ball seven times in this park. Still, this is evidence that supports our initial Over bet and what we’d rather lean on are Garza’s recent form and his past dominance of the Orioles. In addition, the Orioles have been slumping for months and particularly struggle to get going on the road. Milwaukee is in a groove and have the superior matchup at home. We could see fireworks a day after July 4th, but ultimately we think it leads to a Brewers win.