When Orioles 3B, Rio Ruiz hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth last night again the Astros, he sealed the biggest MLB upset of the past 15 years. The question today is: Will the Orioles build on the win with another shocking upset, this time in the Bronx?
I doubt it. The Yankees have the second best record in the MLB with no days off (60-33), and the best record in Double-Headers (8-2). They have dominated this Orioles team recently, winning their last 12 match-ups against them and covering the run-line in 11 of them.
Game 1: New York Yankees (77-41) vs. Baltimore Orioles (39-78)
New York Yankees: 6.5 Runs, -360 ML, Baltimore Orioles: 4.5 Runs, +300 ML
New York will start James Paxton, who has been on top his game more times than not this season. Although the potent Red Sox and Astros lit up Paxton earlier in the year, overall he has allowed 2 or less runs in 11 of his 20 starts. Against the Orioles this year, Paxton has a 2-1 record with a 3.06 ERA. In 6 starts against the Orioles for his career, Paxton has gone 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Considering the Yankees are averaging nearly 6 runs a game this year, holding the opponent to 3 or 4 runs would make it highly likely that the Bombers would get the win.
The Orioles go with John Means (8-7, 3.36 ERA). Although Means has been generally good he is facing a Yankees team that recently lit him up. Means ERA is somewhat deceptive considering is FIP is over 1 run higher. The Orioles gave up 14 runs to these Yankees in Means’ last start, and Means lasted less than 4 innings. The Yankees historically have had cold bats on trips up to Toronto but of course are known for crushing the ball when at home in the Bronx.
The Orioles will be flat after their remarkable win yesterday, while the Yankees are prime to return to their dominant ways after a difficult trip to Toronto. My FanDuel Best Bet is Yankees -1.5, -180.
Game 2: New York Yankees (77-41) vs. Baltimore Orioles (39-78)
New York Yankees: 6.5 Runs, -385 ML, Baltimore Orioles: 4 Runs, +330 ML
*Odds taken from DraftKings, as they are not up yet on FanDuel.
If the Orioles are going to steal one of these games, I like their odds a lot better to make the second game.
Like they did in their win last week against Boston, it looks like the Yankees will employ a bullpen only rotation to make it through game 2 of the series. Although the Yankees are 4-1 in the second leg of double headers this season, they will be vulnerable without a definite starter to eat up the majority of innings.
Considering that Paxton has been solid for the Yankees over the past month, it’s somewhat surprising that they are actually more expensive without a named starter in Game 2. However, it works both ways. Without a named starter for Game 2, the market can only prepare for the worst when Baltimore picks a pitcher to go against the best offense in baseball that’s only getting healthier.
I would lean towards New York, mostly due to their domination of Baltimore this season and their stellar record in double-headers this season. But just considering that nearly 60% of double headers end in splits, I would pass the game – weary of an another shot of magic from the worst team in the league tonight.