Baseball Predictions — Orioles’ Bundy Wants to Keep Up Momentum

 

Last Updated: 2017-08-12

orioles athletics mlb picksIt is a topsy-turvy race for the American League wild card berths, and now there are new people for the Baltimore Orioles to chase. It doesn’t really matter; they have to just keep on winning and hope that things turn out for the best as far as the misfortune of other clubs. On Saturday night they will try to rebound from a defeat against the Oakland Athletics, lining up for a game that begins at 9:05 PM ET at the Coliseum.

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Oakland came up with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Orioles 5-4 on Friday, as once again Baltimore manager Buck Showalter refused to go with Zach Britton until the “save” situation in the ninth, which never came. So now the O’s are 57-59, which puts them two games behind – surprise – the Minnesota Twins for the second AL wild card. It seems like every day there is someone else taking hold of that second playoff spot, and there are at least six other teams in striking distance.

The Orioles will send Dylan Bundy (11-8, 4.15 ERA) to the mound in pursuit of his third straight victory, After a failure against the high-powered Houston Astros, Bundy has responded with very sharp back-to-back efforts against the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals, two of the teams right in the thick of this wild card race.

The A’s will be hoping that Sean Manaea (8-6, 4.15 ERA) can get himself back on track. He has a total of 6-1/3 innings of work over his last two outings.

In the odds at VietBet upon which we will make our baseball predictions, the game is a pick’em:

Baltimore Orioles (Bundy) -110
Oakland Athletics (Manaea) -110

Over 9 Runs -115
Under 9 Runs -105

Manaea is a pitcher who needs for his off-speed stuff to work in order to be effective. And he has to have a strikeout rate that is at least respectable, if not overwhelming. But in these last two starts, he has recorded only two K’s, while walking three and giving up three homers. In fact, when you look at Manaea’s season stats, he has allowed 14 homers in 119 innings, a rate of 1.1 per nine innings, which puts him among the top 20 in the American League. But he has now allowed six round-trippers in his last 14 frames. So the hitters are getting around on him better.

It is important to note that a lot of Baltimore’s power comes from the left side, and this is where Manaea is know to be especially nasty. But while he has indeed held lefty hitters to a .223 average and just .330 slugging, he had previously been much more dominant.

Bundy, as VietBet patrons probably know, was the world’s greatest prospect, or so it seemed, when he came out of high school. He had won the Gatorade and Baseball America high school player of the year awards, with a 0.25 ERA in his senior season. When he debuted in pro ball, it was like one of those scenes from “The Natural,” as he went 30 scoreless innings in the South Atlantic League without giving up an earned run and surrendering just five hits. So great things were expected. But like Roy Hobbs, he “kind of got sidetracked,” by injuries which turned him into someone who was a lot more marginal for the major leagues.

The Orioles put him into the rotation last year, although there were some observers who thought he might be a better fit for the bullpen. This year he is making a case for himself as Baltimore’s most dependable starter, as he has gone 15 innings over his last two appearances, allowing only nine base runners.

If we are going to be looking at this price, we have to take a long look at the Orioles. You would figure that with Bundy exceeding last year’s innings total by a big margin that he might be the one slowing down, but he isn’t. Manaea looks like the guy who has lost something. We’ll pay to watch that trend continue.

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