Frankly, I have been going back and forth on this play all morning. However, that just tells me this is very close to a 50-50 game and that there is a lot more value than the oddsmakers are giving. The Tigers are now 4-16 in their last 20 games with three of those wins coming from splitting doubleheaders. They are just 1-13 in their last 14 games with just a single game in the day. Yet, they are still favored today. Well, that is mainly because of the Tigers starting pitcher, Eduardo Rodriguez. He has absolutely dominated the Orioles in the past with the Red Sox, picking up the win in 9 of his last 10 starts against them.
The Orioles have also struggled against lefties this season. However, they did just beat a lefty yesterday in Steven Matz so that should give them some momentum.The Orioles on the other hand are 3-0-1 in their last four series. The Tigers have the second worst record in the league at 9-23, just one game behind the Reds and they are still favorites. Jordan Lyles has pitched back-to-back quality starts for the Orioles and their bullpen has sneakily been very good this season. Their bullpen is worked with winning the past couple series, but the Tigers bullpen is worked as well. Austin Hays is on fire right now, but he could be out after getting spiked last night. He didn’t leave the game yesterday though after he was spiked, so I am hoping he will be fine and back in the lineup tonight. Either way, the rest of this Orioles lineup is hitting while the Tigers are not. The Tigers have the second worst wOBA in the league against righties this season, while the Orioles struggle against lefties.
I think the Orioles would be favored if it was any other lefty, but the public immediately checks Rodriguez history against the Orioles and sees him dominate. I think that could happen again honestly as the Tigers have been playing lots of close games. However, the Tigers have also been losing lots of close games, so I like the value in the Orioles on the road.
I think the Orioles will win this series so a strategy I like to use on the underdog is play them in Game 1. If they lose, we can come back and play them in Game 2 or 3 and hope to come out positive for the series.