Date/Time: May 18th, 4:05 PM ET
MLB Betting Odds from WagerWeb Sportsbook
Probable Starters: Hernandez (Tampa Bay) vs. Jurrjens (Baltimore)
Moneyline: Orioles -110
A day after these two teams combined to score 22 runs, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles are set to go to battle once again in a 4:05 p.m. ET start time, one of the three MLB betting battles to be broadcast on FOX.
The Rays were very fortunate to hold on and avoid a second straight ridiculous bullpen collapse. This bullpen has absolutely zero confidence right now, as everyone from Kyle Farnsworth to Fernando Rodney to Jamie Wright have no idea where they are throwing the ball. That's going to put a slew of pressure on RHP Roberto Hernandez, who will get the ball on Saturday afternoon. We haven't seen a ton out of Hernandez that we like this year, but we haven't seen a ton that we don't like either. This is your fairly average pitcher on a fairly average team. Hernandez is 2-4 with a 4.43 ERA. His walk total is right where it should be with 13, while his strikeout total is solid with 41 in 42.2 innings of work. Hernandez has pitched exactly six innings in four straight starts, but he has allowed five homers in those outings as well. Now, he knows he has a fragile bullpen behind him that has pitched a ton of late, which might force him into more duty than he was expecting on this night.
The Orioles have now opened up this home stand with three straight losses, and all of a sudden, the O's could be in fourth place in the AL East by the end of the weekend. The team proved again on Friday night just how explosive it can be. Six runs were scored in the eighth inning of a game that appeared to be all but over with. Baltimore wasn't able to win it, but it was able to at least make things interesting. The offense, which is averaging 5.02 runs per game on the season, hasn't had enough help from its pitching staff. Now, with Wei-Yin Chen on the DL, RHP Jair Jurrjens has been called up to make his first major league start in just about a year. Jurrjens has been okay, but nothing much more in AAA this year, as his 3.70 ERA is nothing to brag about at that level. He had an ERA of nearly seven with the Atlanta Braves last season, and he has to figure out how to pitch against the big boys right away if he is going to help out his new team.
With the way that the bats were humming yesterday and the way that both of these starting pitchers have pitched, we have a hard time believing that there won't be at least 10 runs put on the board in this one. Go with the 'over' and don't be shocked if this one is another one of these games with a really odd look final score.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles Pick: Over 9