MLB Playoffs Game 1: American League Wildcard Game Pick (Oct.4, 2016)

Baltimore Orioles (89-73) at Toronto Blue Jays (89-73) 8pm EST

Orioles: Tillman (16-6, 3.77) Blue Jays: Stroman (9-10, 4.37)

20161004_011704.jpgThe MLB Postseason begins Tuesday night when two familiar division rivals square up. Both the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays had identical regular season records, with the Blue Jays narrowly winning the regular season series 10-9. For winning the regular season series the Blue Jays have the luxury of playing this single elimination round at home.

Chris-Tillman-10
Chris Tilman is 8-3 with a 2.97 in away games this season

The Blue Jays have a 46-35 home record overall and a 6-4 home record against the Orioles this season. The Orioles have a 39-42 road record on the season. The Orioles do however come in as the hotter team, winning seven of their last nine games, including two out of three road games against the Blue Jays during the final nine game stretch.

The Orioles turn to Chris Tillman with their season on the line. Tillman is 8-3 on the season with a 2.97 ERA over 14 road starts. The over/under record in Tilman’s starts is 4-10. Tilman has made four starts against the Blue Jays this season, he is 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman is 4-3 with a 4.59 ERA in home starts this season. Stroman finished the month of September with a 0-5 record, despite a solid 3.41 ERA. On the season Stroman made four starts against Baltimore and has posted a 1-2 record and 7.04 ERA against them.

When looking at the bullpens, the Orioles hold an advantage on paper. Baltimore’s bullpen has an American League best 3.40 ERA and closer Zach Britton is a perfect 47 for 47 in save opportunities with a 0.54 ERA on the season. Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuno converted on 36 out 42 save opportunities this season, but blew three of his last four save chances.

Despite all the stats and data you can analyze for this game, this is a very even match-up between two division rivals who know each other very well.

It is worth noting that since Major League Baseball added the wildcard game in 2012, the visiting team is 6-2 all time (3-1 American League, 3-1, National League) with the Orioles winning 5-1 on the road over the Texas Rangers the very first year.

I have found the Orioles as big as a +142 underdog (The Greek). The Blue Jays are currently a -147 favorite, which I believe is way too high. This match-up is a close call with the Orioles having at least a 50/50 chance at worse. At -147, I feel it is not worth laying that kind of juice on Toronto. My personal play here and recommendation is to go with Baltimore Orioles Moneyline +142.

 

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