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Picks of the Day for MLB: August 19

By Stefan Luciani

Alright, so lesson learned. Never bet on the Yankees.

I will take the blame for this one, after all that’s something that was ingrained in my DNA and I went against it to give them the benefit of the doubt. Last time that ever happens.

So what are we going to do today then?

We’re going to bet on a team that I never ever saw myself taking to win. But here’s the thing about the Baltimore Orioles right now; they’re actually a solid baseball team.

The O’s are 5-5 over their last 10 games with a batting average of .249 and combined ERA of 4.40. Now these aren’t by any means some stellar numbers to boast about, but the fact remains that this was supposed to be a team that was once again going to hold a death-grip on that bottom spot of the AL East, yet here they are sitting fourth in the East at 61-57 just 2.5 games out of a wildcard playoff spot. All of this may I remind you, has been done without the bat of Trey Mancini who got shipped to the Astros at the deadline. It’s very safe to say this team has overperformed immensely this season thus far.

They’re playing against a Boston Red Sox team that at times, has looked somewhat competitive this season. But there have also been times where it looks as though they fielded a little league team disguised as adults i.e., 28-5.

The pitching matchup is one that interests me quite a lot. Jordan Lyles is having himself a relatively impressive year despite some inflated numbers. He currently boasts a 9-9 record with a 4.48 ERA and WHIP of 1.45. He’s going up against a younger and less experienced Kutter Crawford who shares very similar numbers to the Orioles’ righty. Crawford posts a 4.18 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP. Now it’s important to keep in mind Crawford has less than half the number of innings pitched than Lyles does.

Baltimore is hosting the series with a record of 33-22 at their very oddly renovated Camden Yards and they have had some solid performers for them. At face value a guy like Cedric Mullens has been brilliant with 49 RBIs hitting .263. The player I’m focused on though, is rookie catcher Adley Rutschman. The new full-time big leaguer has adapted exceptionally well to the show holding a wRC+ of 128 – very strong for a rookie. His presence behind the plate has also not gone unnoticed.

I think the Orioles are playing some strong fundamental baseball right now and are mentally, in a very good spot. I don’t see this Red Sox team giving them any trouble.

Pick: Orioles -1.5 (+175) at Betway

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