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Top MLB Betting Series of the Week (August 30th, 2021)

By Hank Blaine

So, my assignment here is to pick the best bets of the week around Major League Baseball, but I’m going to simplify things and say this: Hammer the Toronto Blue Jays over the Baltimore Orioles in each game Monday through Wednesday. The Orioles are horrible overall and truly putrid on the road, having lost nine straight away from Camden Yards and 19-44 overall on the road.

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Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays

  • When: Monday, August 30 // Wednesday, September 1
  • Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
  • TV: MASN 2, SNET, SNET-1, TVA Sports
  • Radio: 105.7 The Fan (Orioles) // SN590 (Blue Jays)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Blue Jays -2.5 (Aug. 30) // TBA (Aug. 31) // TBA (Sept. 1)

READ MORE: Top MLB Betting Series of the Week (September 6th, 2021)

The Orioles have been swept 17 times this season and have allowed seven grand slams already. That’s their most in a single season since giving up 10 in 2018. One bright spot this season has been Ryan Mountcastle. His 24 homers tie him with teammate Trey Mancini for the third-most by a rookie in team history, trailing only Cal Ripken Jr.’s 28 in 1982 and Eddie Murray’s 27 in 1977. Mountcastle is hitting .355 with seven homers this month. His .496 slugging percentage would be the highest by a rookie in Orioles history.

The Blue Jays have hit an AL-high 192 home runs this season, trailing only San Francisco in the majors. Those 192 dingers are the fourth most through 129 games in franchise history. The Jays lead the majors in slugging at .450.

Toronto starts ace lefty Robbie Ray (9-5, 2.72) on Monday and he has vaulted himself into the AL Cy Young conversation. Ray pitched one-run ball for seven innings and struck out 14 in his last outing vs. the White Sox. His 192 strikeouts are third in the majors. Rather amazingly, Ray has five straight no-decisions despite a 1.59 ERA in that span. In three career meetings with the Orioles, he is 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA but I don’t put much stock in that.

Baltimore starts journeyman Chris Ellis (0-0, 9.00). He was recently claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay and made his Orioles debut last week, allowing three runs in three-plus innings against the Angels. This will be the first time Ellis has faced the Jays.

Tuesday features Toronto lefty Hyun Jin Ryu against Orioles southpaw Keegan Akin, who might be the worst pitcher in the AL. Ryu (12-7, 3.88) took the loss on Thursday after allowing seven runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings versus the White Sox. He’s much better than that. Akin (1-8, 7.26) actually was excellent last time out yet still has that 7.26 ERA on the season.

The finale on Wednesday features lefty Steven Matz (10-7, 3.81) for Toronto on the mound. Matz delivered a solid effort in a no-decision against the Tigers last Friday, giving up only one run on four hits over six innings. The only scoring against him came in the fourth inning as Jeimer Candelario doubled and came around to score on an RBI single by Miguel Cabrera. Baltimore counters with Matt Harvey (6-14, 6.18), who leads the majors in losses. Harvey has tossed 119 1/3 innings this season, 48 more than his last two seasons combined — 59 2/3 in 2019 and only 11 2/3 in ‘20.

Toronto is 6-3 vs. Baltimore this year and that should be 9-3 by Wednesday night. The Jays need all the wins they can get as they chase a wild-card berth. Toronto likely will get back three-time All-Star outfielder George Springer from the injured list Monday. He was injured when he ran into the outfield wall while chasing a ball in Seattle on Aug. 14 and hasn’t played since but ran sprints Sunday and felt good. Before going down with an injury, Springer was one of the hottest players in the American League, earning AL Player of the Week honors two weeks in a row.

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