Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles
MLB Pick: Baltimore +1.5 -159 odds (May 19th 2013)
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The Rays have taken the first two games of this series in a pair of slugfests. I look for things to settle down considerably on Sunday as we have a fine pitching matchup between Matt Moore and Chris Tillman. I’ll grab the insurance run with the Orioles as they aim to avoid the sweep.
It’s not as if the Rays were on fire heading into this series, having dropped back-to-back games at home against the Red Sox. They’ve been an inconsistent offensive club for much of the season, and I don’t expect that to change now. Off a pair of explosive games at the dish, look for them to show some regression on Sunday afternoon.
Rays starter Matt Moore has posted a perfect 8-0 team record in his first eight starts this season – a stark contrast to what we saw from him early in last year’s campaign. He hasn’t exactly been dominating the opposition lately, however, as he’s issued 10 walks and allowed four home runs in his last three starts, spanning 16 innings of work. He was on the hill for a 6-2 win here in Baltimore earlier this season, but had lost his previous two outings at Camden Yards – both coming last season.
Chris Tillman will counter for the Orioles. He’s quietly enjoyed a fine start to the 2013 season, having gone 3-1 with a 3.40 ERA. It’s easy to forget that this was a guy that went 9-3 with a sub-3.00 ERA a year ago. Over Tillman’s last five starts, he’s allowed only seven earned runs in 33 2/3 innings pitched. While he’s come up empty in his last two starts against the Rays, the Orioles are still 2-1 in his last three outings against them here in Baltimore.
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The Orioles bullpen has been shaky lately, a big reason why I’m willing to lay the extra juice to get an insurance run on Sunday afternoon. With that being said, it’s not as if the Rays ‘pen has been lights out, posting a collective 4.05 ERA on the road this season. Look for a tight game all the way, with the O’s doing whatever they can to avoid the sweep. Take Baltimore +1.5 runs (1*).