Two American League teams, both in the hunt for the playoffs are facing off on Thursday afternoon as the Cleveland Guardians play host to the Baltimore Orioles. This is the third game in a 3-game series the teams splitting a game each. Who has the edge in game 3? Here is my complete prediction and breakdown.
AL WILD CARD RACE IS HEATING UP
The Orioles entered Wednesday fourth in the AL wild card race, just three games behind the Blue Jays for the final spot. The Orioles have played respectable baseball, especially after the All-Star break in which they are 22-15, now posting 68-61 record.
Offense has been their kryptonite, scoring just 4.2 runs per game; this is good for 20th in the majors. Despite going 6-4 in their last 10 games the team is batting a combined .224 and has a OBP of just .299. Anthony Santander leads the team with 23 home-runs and 73 RBI’s.
Starting in this one is Kyle Bradish for his 17th time this season. He comes in with some rusty numbers going just 2-5 with an ERA of 5.63 and WHIP of 1.54. Bradish earned the win in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Astros where he threw eight scoreless innings, allowing two hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a 2-0 Orioles victory. Despite his overall numbers looking bad he has played great in his last three starts, Bradish is 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, six walks and 17 strikeouts over 18.1 innings of work in those 3 starts.
The Cleveland Guardians with a 68-60 record find themselves atop of the AL Central. They were shutout in game 2 against the Orioles despite putting up 5 hits and 3 walks. They look to bounce back here behind former CY Young Shane Bieber.
Bieber whilst not the best we have seen him is still having a good year. Coming into this one the ace has a 8-7 record over 152 innings pitched accumulating to 3.02 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 153 K’s. He has allowed just 2 runs in each of his last 3 starts. Bieber makes his fourth career start against the Orioles in this contest. He is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA, a 0.542 WHIP, two walks and 37 strikeouts over 24 innings of work in those contests.
The offense for the Guardians is in a slump, batting in just 3.54 runs per game in their last 10. In those 10 games the team has a combined batting average of just .226. Jose Ramirez is having a standout season launching 26 homers to go with 106 RBIs, 45 more than second on the team Josh Naylor.
PITCHING BATTLE, SLUMPS CONTINUE
Despite his numbers Orioles starting pitcher in this game Kyle Bradish has been lights-out lately going 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, six walks and 17 strikeouts over 18.1 innings of work in his last 3 starts. The Guardians counter with Shane Bieber who is 3-0 against the Orioles with a 0.75 ERA and 0.54 WHIP. Both teams are also struggling to put runs on the board both batting less than .230 as a team in their last 10. In a game like this I will happily take the under. Expect a good pitching battle and for both teams to struggle scoring runs. If you can play alternate totals with your sports books we recommend buying up a run.
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Thanks for reading, Dave Covers Spreads