The Toronto Blue Jays, who halted a five game skid last night with a 6-2 win over Baltimore, will look to win their series with the O’s tonight when the two AL East rivals take the field at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This evening’s potential series decider has a scheduled start time of 7:07pm EST. Baseball odds makers are favoring the Jays at -130 on the moneyline; the Over 8.5 runs is favored at -120 odds.
Despite their extended slide, the Blue Jays enter tonight’s game with a 25-24 record and just four games back of the first place Orioles in the AL East standings. They will look to stay above the break even point with southpaw Ricky Romero toeing the rubber.
Romero sports a 5-1 record and 3.86 ERA in 10 starts this season (Toronto 6-4 in Romero’s 10 appearances). The three year veteran got tagged for four runs on just two hits in his last outing, a 4-5 loss at Tampa Bay; he yielded seven free passes and struck out seven in the unusual showing. That loss came on the heels of a 14-5 home win over the Mets in which he gave up just three hits and one earned run in six innings of work.
Romero has saved his best performances for the Rogers Centre this season, posting a 4-0 record and 3.09 ERA at home. The Los Angeles native is 6-3 with a 1.18 WHIP and 3.10 ERA in 12 career starts against the O’s. Romero has averaged 7.3 strikeouts every nine innings and issued just 28 free passes in 87 innings opposite Baltimore.
Baltimore will counter Romero with right hander Jake Arrieta. Arrieta, who brings a 2-5 record and 4.87 ERA to the hill tonight, has been impressive in four career starts against the Blue Jays, piecing together a 3-1 record and 3.80 ERA; however, his numbers at the Rogers Centre are less than commendable. Arrieta is 1-1 in two road starts against the Jays, allowing 14 hits and seven earned runs in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Free Baseball Pick: Given Romero’s home record (9-1 last 10 starts as a home favorite), particularly against the Orioles (5-1 as home favorite), Toronto is a solid play at -130. The Over 8.5 runs also looks appealing. The last 10 games between these two rivals at the Rogers Centre has produced an average game total of 9.5 runs, and seven of those 10 games exceeded 8.5 runs. The Over is also 7-3 in Romero’s last 10 home starts with a total between 8.5 and 9 runs.
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