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A Toronto Maple Leafs Christmas Wishlist – Maple Leafs Hot Stove

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Let’s start with the most important stuff right off the top – I’d like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays spent with family, friends, and good food (and wine!).

As for the Toronto Maple Leafs — who are winners of six of their last seven and are finally reasonably healthy — let’s look at what they might be asking for from Santa as the second half of the season approaches.

Productive backup goaltending

No real secrets here. Frederik Andersen leads the league in total minutes played and is third in the league in shots against. He has played in 29 of 37 games. While the Leafs have made headway in the standings of late, they need Andersen to play a lot to make the playoffs. That said, they also need a rested Andersen to go anywhere in the playoffs. For three consecutive years, the Leafs have made the playoffs and Andersen has managed mixed results (although he did post a .922 save percentage in seven games last Spring).

This has consistently led to questions about fatigue and whether he was overplayed come playoff time. You generally play every other day in the postseason, and should the Leafs ever advance beyond the first round, the amount of hockey really adds up. Who knows, they might even need a game or two out of a backup in the playoffs (we’ve seen a number of teams call on theirs over the years).

A top-four defenseman

It’s unfortunate that this is still a need given they made a big trade for a defenseman in the summer and Justin Holl has emerged this season, but here we are.

The Rielly – Barrie pairing is fun when you’re playing Detroit and New York, but it’s hard to see them holding up in a playoff series against Boston, Washington, or Tampa Bay. The Muzzin – Holl pairing has been solid so far and there is little reason to think that won’t continue, so if they can find a defense partner for Morgan Rielly and push Barrie down next to Travis Dermott on what would essentially be an offensive-zone-faceoff-only pairing that’s dedicated to offense, it is the best they can do.

With some forwards starting to emerge amid injuries (Ilya Mikheyev, Pierre Engvall, possibly Dmytro Timashov), does that make an Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen expendable to help address this need?   

Stability

It has been a whirlwind start to the season in Toronto. It didn’t help that Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott were rehabbing from offseason surgeries followed by injuries to John Tavares and Mitch Marner. Alexander Kerfoot and Trevor Moore have also missed time, and now Andreas Johnsson is out. The roster has never been settled, and while no team is ever truly healthy, they didn’t even a chance to slot their players in as they really envisioned it at any point. It has been a constant game of musical chairs.

Then, of course, Mike Babcock was fired. That, too, was a whirlwind — from the firing itself to the stories that emerged after. It would be beneficial for everyone involved to just enjoy a drama-free run here for a bit, allow the team to get healthy, settle in (which they seem to be now), and play without distraction. This is still a very, very good hockey team when healthy and they are starting to look like it again.

If you wanted to add a stocking stuffer, I’d throw in a depth forward, too. When the Leafs are fully healthy, Engvall and Moore are bumped to the fourth line and then there is a collection of players vying for that other spot (Frederik Gauthier, Jason Spezza, and Timashov). I think a true defensive forward who they could use up the lineup at certain key times in games would be a nice fit there (similar to what the Penguins did with Matt Cullen or Chicago with John Madden at one point).


Notes

– In all three games this past week, the Toronto Maple Leafs started the John Tavares line on shift one along with Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl on defense. Sheldon Keefe has pretty much been doing this for weeks and it looks like this will be the Leafs’ go-to line to start the night and set the tone. It’s important to have consistency in that spot and a trustworthy unit that can get the team into the game. When Tavares was out — as well as Marner — the Leafs tried a few different combinations, including the Matthews line, and there were a number of occasions that they were dominated by the opposition on the first shift of the night. Now, with a relatively healthy team and a trustworthy defense pairing, the coaching staff looks like it generally knows who they are starting the game with. That said, you can’t give up a first-shift breakaway against the Detroit Red Wings.

– Checking ice time around the league, I was a little surprised to see that Morgan Rielly is 10th in total time on ice played (for players), so far this season. The next highest Leaf is Cody Ceci, who ranks 41st in the league. I don’t think many would argue at this point that Rielly is even the best (or most important, perhaps) defenseman on the team; it’s really the two defensemen getting the most responsibility each night. It would also be hard to argue that Ceci is within their top four most important defensemen.

That seems to be evening out a bit now as Ceci played between 19:14 and 20:06 over the past week. Against Calgary and Vancouver in back to back games last week, he was in the 16-minute range. Meanwhile, the Leafs look to be resting Muzzin where possible – he played only 19:58 vs. the Rangers and 17:39 against the Red Wings, but when Barrie went down against the Oilers and it was a tight game, he played 27 minutes.

Zach Hyman is now tied for second on the team in shorthanded time-on-ice per game (Marner is first). I’ve seen a lot of commentary surrounding the Leafs special teams improving since the coaching change, but a large part of it is simply getting healthy and the personnel improving. Especially on the penalty kill, you can only really coach so much. Players have to know how to read what the opposition is doing in the zone, where to put their stick, how to position themselves, block shots, and so on. Hyman is strong in those areas. He had a great read on the penalty kill against the Rangers to poke the puck out for a breakaway opportunity; he knows how to pick his spots when it comes to whether or not to be aggressive while shorthanded.

– I didn’t think Hyman had that backhand goal in his bag of tricks, though. What a crafty little shot that was. It’s propped up a bit by his three-point night against the Wings, but he has 11 points in 18 games so far this season — is a 50-point pace — although he is shooting 18.6%.

– I pointed out the Leafs having a high forward in the offensive zone in a previous notebook; Ilya Mikheyev made another play there on a give-and-go with Holl leading to an Engvall goal. More than anyone, Mikheyev looks really comfortable at the top of the offensive zone.

It was also noteworthy to see him beat a goalie cleanly (against the Rangers) off the rush as his shot hasn’t generally been that dangerous from distance — if that starts developing, lookout. He has seven goals on the season, including an empty-net goal and a few rebound tap-ins.

– Good on Justin Holl for stepping in after a dangerous hit by Andreas Athanasiou. The game is over, it’s the final minute, and an opponent took a big run at a Leafs player. We’ve seen a few instances where the Leafs haven’t stepped in (including earlier in the week when Travis Dermott was boarded from behind against the Sabres), so it was nice to see it actually happen for once.

– I want to wish Josh Leivo a speedy recovery from a fractured knee cap. He was playing to a 43-point pace and was a solid top-nine forward for the Canucks. I have watched a good number of Vancouver games this season and they have consistently trusted him in big situations, particularly offensively whenever they pulled the goalie to make it a 6v5 situation. I also saw an instance where he was on for a 6v5 defensively, too. After Leafs traded him for Michael Carcone straight up with the coaching staff basically refusing to play him, he has become a legitimate NHL contributor elsewhere.


Quotes

“It’s definitely a weight off your shoulders. Winning – there’s no better feeling than it.”

– Michael Hutchinson after notching his first win of the season

The nice thing about the win is, even though it came against Detroit, Michael Hutchinson legitimately earned it. He stopped a number of breakaways and it was a genuinely good performance. It’s a shame they couldn’t close out the shutout at the end. It’s nice Hutchinson got the win, but it would be even nicer if he gains some confidence from it and goes on a bit of a run (when he plays), too.

“It is the way that it goes. Some nights, guys are going to play more than others. Obviously, Willy had an outstanding game yesterday and produced a lot for us and was a difference maker for us. Today, it was other guys. That is the way it goes. That’s part of having a team and it is part of an 82-game season. You mix it up back and forth.”

– Sheldon Keefe on benching William Nylander

Well, he’s right and William Nylander did deserve to be benched. I’m curious how this will unfold as time goes on, though. Basically, every coach I’ve ever seen behind the Leafs bench has come out and benched a few players early, and everyone goes, “this is awesome! Players are finally being held accountable and treated fairly!” When that same player gets benched a few more times, inevitably, the narrative changes to coach X hates player Y.

That said, the nonchalant play of Nylander when he tried taking a puck off his skate — leading to a breakaway for the Red Wings — would drive any coach crazy.

“We had the [ping pong] table but it wasn’t really used a lot. So now it’s in the locker room every practice day. Right there [in the middle of the room]. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere, I think. You’re not really walking on eggshells as much.”

– Justin Holl on the culture around the team right now

Obviously, none of us were in the dressing room, but so many players on the team have spoken out with comments that suggest to varying degrees that the room was essentially toxic by the end of Babcock’s tenure.


Tweets of the Week

Interesting thread here. As noted in the replies, technically Matthew Tkachuk was suspended against the Leafs in 2017. The general point stands, though, and it’s pretty clear all the attention the Leafs receive in the media has a negative effect on them in this department.

The Kyle Okposo hit was similar to the one that got Zach Hyman suspended against Boston. He’s a repeat offender, but Nazem Kadri got suspended for four playoff games on a play that had a degree of danger that happens nearly every week in the league (Alexander Kerfoot was not that far from tearing significant ligaments in his knee on Saturday, for instance). I don’t really know the solution to this and this isn’t just a Leafs problem. The league has to be more consistent and accountable, though.

It has been interesting watching Jake Gardiner from afar this year. He was a lightning rod for debate in Toronto, extremely overvalued by some, and extremely undervalued by others. As is often the case, the truth lied somewhere in the middle of all the noise. In Carolina so far, he’s clearly a third-pairing defender and he’s on pace for under 20 points (which would be a career-low) after signing a 4×4 deal in the summer.

First and foremost, I hope Anthony Mantha is okay. An injury always gets people fired up one way or the other (especially on Twitter). At the end of the day, though, when you throw a clean hit and are approached aggressively, all bets are off and you should prioritize protecting yourself.

There was a somewhat similar incident with Muzzin recently against the Blues where he crushed Jaden Schwartz (on a much better hit, in my opinion) and Brayden Schenn engaged him, but nothing of consequence happened because Muzzin didn’t want to fight. I’m just not sure what you can expect to happen when a player skates towards another and punches him in the face.


5 Things I Think I’d Do

1.  I think everything has to be taken in perspective when it is a game against the Red Wings, but we’ve been calling for a Zach HymanAuston Matthews reunion for quite some time in this space and that was a little preview as to why. As long as the Tavares line is going head to head against top lines (which will always be the case, basically), it makes sense to have Hyman on that line. He’s their best defensive winger. But his forechecking and grunt work does give Matthews a spark. I still think it would be interesting to see Andreas Johnsson paired with Tavares and Marner when he returns. Mikheyev’s play is giving the Leafs options on the left side as well.

2.  I think it works out well for the Leafs that they have a back-to-back right after the Christmas break, playing New Jersey followed by the Rangers. That gives the Leafs a chance to get Michael Hutchinson right back into the net to see if he can continue to build off of his win and get himself rolling. Beyond back-to-back situations, they have to actively look for opportunities to put Hutchinson in favourable matchups to rest Frederik Andersen.

3.  I think the faster we get over this idea of trying Kasperi Kapanen in the top six, the better. He’s a really nice player due to his speed, forechecking, and his shot. When he’s engaged physically, he’s very noticeable. But he is best suited for the Leafs third line at this point in time. I’d much sooner try any of Mikheyev, Engvall or Moore in the top six.

4.  I think Frederik Gauthier just won’t go away — and good for him. He deserves kudos for that. Prior to the past weekend, he had played in the single digits (minutes wise) in six of his last seven, but he was over 10 against New York and Detroit. Keefe noted after the Detroit game that he thought he was going. I’m still unsure if he’s a full-time solution on the fourth line, but to his credit, he has managed to stay in the lineup and make some contributions. He deserves to be in right now.

5.  I think the Next Gen Game is a great idea as a creative attempt to introduce new/younger fans to the game and the Leafs. There are three more this season, and it’s a worthy initiative. All for anything that attempts to grow the game.

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Schneider: 'Everything is on the table' for struggling Kikuchi – TSN

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Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said Monday the team is weighing their options when it comes to struggling starter Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi saw his record drop to 4-7 on the season with Monday’s 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, in which he allowed six runs – three earned – in 3 1/3 innings of work. The 31-year-old is winless in his past three starts and has a 5.25 ERA through 20 games this season.

“Everything’s on the table right now,” Schneider said, per MLB.com. “We just want him to continue to focus on the things he’s working on. But having options and having other guys that can step into roles is a good thing. And we’ll figure that out in the next couple days.”

Kikuchi spent three weeks on the injured list last month with a neck strain. He delivered a strong outing in his return in July 28 against the Tigers, allowing one run and two hits over five innings, and held the Tampa Bay Rays to two runs in four innings on Aug. 3, but has allowed 11 runs over his past two starts.

“There are a few things that we’ve been working on, trying to figure out what’s good and what’s bad,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter after Monday’s loss. “I feel like we’re just caught in between the ups and downs right now.”

Schneider was non-committal on what changes the team could make to help Kikuchi find his way.

“There’s always a scenario for everything,” Schneider said. “Off-days play into it; performance plays into it. It’s a welcome addition to have (Ross) Stripling back and I love what Mitch White has done as well. You can go a variety of different ways. We’re just going to continue to keep our options open.”

The Blue Jays dropped to 61-53 with Monday’s loss and now sit tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot, a game and a half ahead of the Orioles, who they will play again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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A one-liner for each BMW Championship participant – PGA TOUR

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Player One-liner 1. Will Zalatoris Opened Playoffs with first PGA TOUR win to take top spot in the FedExCup. 2. Scottie Scheffler Masters champ MC’d in Playoffs opener, but still in FedExCup race after stellar Regular Season. 3. Cameron Smith Hip pain will keep him out of BMW, but Open, PLAYERS, Sentry champion is expected to return and will still have shot at FedExCup. 4. Sam Burns Highly-touted prospect broke out with 3 wins after winning once in his first three TOUR seasons. 5. Tony Finau Has two wins and a T5 at FedEx in his last three starts. 6. Xander Schauffele His 3-win season included back-to-back wins at Travelers and Genesis Scottish Open. 7. Patrick Cantlay Defending FedExCup champ has 10 top-10 finishes, including win with Schauffele in New Orleans. 8. Sepp Straka Tough playoff loss to Zalatoris but clinched TOUR Championship debut as he broke streak of 6 MCs. 9. Rory McIlroy MC at FedEx was a tough start to his bid for unprecedented third FedExCup title. 10. Justin Thomas PGA Championship winner competed as an amateur at this week’s venue, but much has changed. 11. Sungjae Im Solid 12th-place finish at FedEx followed consecutive runners-up to end Regular Season. 12. Matt Fitzpatrick On pace for TOUR Championship debut after nine top-10s, including U.S. Open win, and now returns to NE. 13. Cameron Young Rookie of the Year favorite has 7 top-3 finishes, including 2nd at The Open and T3 at PGA. 14. Jon Rahm Moved up 2 spots after T5 at FedEx, keeping alive of his streak of 6 straight TOUR Championships. 15. Hideki Matsuyama WD from FedEx with neck injury but still on pace for 9th straight TOUR Championship start. 16. Max Homa In good shape to make TOUR Championship debut after winning twice this season. 17. Jordan Spieth MC at FedEx came on the heels of back-to-back top-10s in Scotland (Genesis Scottish Open, The Open). 18. Viktor Hovland Returned from Norway to finish T20 at FedEx and move up a spot as he seeks third straight East Lake start. 19. Joaquin Niemann A T13 at FedEx helped 23-year-old’s quest for 3rd TOUR Championship start. 20. Collin Morikawa Winless this season but 8 top-10s, including T5 at FedEx, has him on verge of East Lake. 21. Tom Hoge Rallied with second-round 66 but MC’d at FedEx as he seeks TOUR Championship debut. 22. Billy Horschel Memorial winner MC’d in Memphis as he seeks 4th East Lake start in last 5 seasons. 23. Brian Harman Making 8th BMW appearance in last 9 years but seeking 1st TOUR Championship start since 2017. 24. J.T. Poston Seeking East Lake debut after T2 at Travelers, John Deere win in consecutive summer starts. 25. Joohyung Kim Wyndham winner was T13 at FedEx St. Jude to crack top 30. 26. Davis Riley Playoff loss to Burns at Valspar was followed by a streak of 6 straight top-15s from April-June. 27. Sahith Theegala Cracked top 30 after T13 at FedEx St. Jude as he looks to add East Lake to impressive rookie season. 28. Kevin Kisner Georgia alum seeking 6th TOUR Championship appearance in last 8 seasons. 29. Corey Conners On the bubble as he seeks 3rd TOUR Championship start in last 4 years. 30. J.J. Spaun Could’ve locked up East Lake spot last week, but St. Jude’s 54-hole leader shot 78 to finish T42. 31. Aaron Wise Former Rookie of the Year having resurgent season, seeking first East Lake start since breakout 2018. 32. Maverick McNealy Coming off final-round 65 for T31 finish at FedEx St. Jude. Would be higher on this list absent Saturday 75. 33. K.H. Lee Made the most of his lone top-10, successfully defending his AT&T Byron Nelson title. 34. Lucas Glover Coming in hot after final-round 66 and season-best T3 finish at FedEx St. Jude. 35. Denny McCarthy Flashes of brilliance in Memphis (66-65 start, T20) as he seeks first TOUR Championship start in fifth season. 36. Seamus Power A year after first win, posted a career-high 5 top-10s, including T3 at Sony Open and T9 at PGA. 37. Shane Lowry Runner-up at Honda and consecutive T3s at Masters and RBC Heritage have him on-pace for best FedExCup finish. 38. Keith Mitchell Career-high 6 top-10s this season could lead to first TOUR Championship berth in fifth TOUR season. 39. Cameron Tringale Eight years after lone East Lake appearance, is in position for return after career-high 5 top-10s (including T2 at ZOZO). 40. Trey Mullinax Justin Thomas’ Alabama teammate earned 1st win at Barbasol and finished T5 at FedEx St. Jude. 41. Mito Pereira Rookie was one hole away from winning the PGA Championship; also finished 3rd at season-opening Fortinet. 42. Luke List At age 37 and after more than 200 TOUR starts, earned his first TOUR win in playoff over Zalatoris at Farmers. 43. Russell Henley Georgia alum closed Regular Season with T10 at Rocket Mortgage and fifth at Wyndham. 44. Keegan Bradley His 6 top-10s — including T2 at Wells Fargo, 5th at PLAYERS and T7 at hometown U.S. Open — match his most since 2013. 45. Adam Scott Registered fourth top-10 of season with final-round 66 and T5 at FedEx St. Jude. 46. Scott Stallings His 6 top-10s this season were 2 more than his previous career-high; will make 1st BMW start since 2013. 47. Andrew Putnam Four rounds in the 60s at TPC Southwind moved him up 40 places and within reach of first TOUR Championship. 48. Kurt Kitayama Made the most of his 3 top-10s, finishing 2nd at Mexico and Scottish opens and 3rd at Honda Classic. 49. Sebastián Muñoz Had pair of 3rd-place finishes where he opened with 60, making him 1st man to shoot 60 or lower twice in same season. 50. Tyrrell Hatton Runner-up at Bay Hill — where he won 2 years ago — was one of 3 top-10s, along with T8 at Wyndham. 51. Cam Davis In his fourth season, had a career-high 5 top-10s, including T3 at RBC Heritage. 52. Mackenzie Hughes Two of his 3 top-10s came in the fall, a runner-up at RSM and T4 at ZOZO, as he makes his 3rd straight BMW appearance. 53. Si Woo Kim His 10 top-25s were his most since 2016 season, and opened FedEx St. Jude (T42) with a 62. 54. Lucas Herbert In 1st season as a member, won in his 3rd start (Bermuda) and had top-15s at 2 majors (PGA, The Open). 55. Emiliano Grillo Endured stretch of 10 missed cuts in 12 starts, but rallied with T2 finishes at 3M Open and John Deere Classic. 56. Tommy Fleetwood Nine top-25s this season include T14 at the Masters, T5 at PGA and T4 at The Open, but has opted to sit out Playoffs. 57. Troy Merritt Opened with a pair of 65s at FedEx St. Jude, but faded on the weekend (T28). 58. Chez Reavie Barracuda victory was third of his career, along with 2019 Travelers and 2008 RBC Canadian Open. 59. Adam Hadwin Made 19 cuts, including T7 at U.S. Open, T9 at THE PLAYERS, and hole-in-one celebration of the year at Memorial. 60. Christiaan Bezuidenhout First full TOUR season was highlighted by runner-up at John Deere Classic. 61. Chris Kirk After finishing 199th and 194th in 2019 and 2020 FedExCups, will make his 2nd straight BMW appearance. 62. Taylor Moore Rookie had top-10s in final two events of Regular Season (6th, Rocket Mortgage; T5, Wyndham). 63. Matt Kuchar Finished T2-T3 in consecutive starts to keep alive his streak of making Playoffs in every FedExCup season. 64. Brendan Steele Making 10th Playoffs appearance in last 11 years, but still seeking first TOUR Championship start. 65. Harold Varner III Finished in the top 25 in nearly half his starts this season, including T3 at RBC Heritage and T6 at THE PLAYERS. 66. Alex Noren Would’ve gotten in The Open if he didn’t leave for Barracuda, but his runner-up there was best finish since 2018. 67. Taylor Pendrith Injuries sidelined long-hitting rookie for 4 months, but still made Playoffs thanks to a pair of top-5s. 68. Marc Leishman All three of his top-10s came by January, including a T4-T3 start to his season. 69. Alex Smalley Korn Ferry Tour Finals grad’s successful rookie season included T2 in Dominican and T6 at Mexico Open. 70. Wyndham Clark Four-for-4 in making Playoffs, with a T7 at the RBC Canadian Open the best of 3 top-10s.

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Orioles vs Blue Jays Odds, Picks, & Predictions Today — Zero Value on Blue Birds – Covers

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The Orioles have been a thorn in the Blue Jays’ sides all season. As such, even with Alek Manoah on the mound, Toronto at -235 is simply too steep to offer any value. We’re pivoting to focus more on the total in what could be a low-scoring clash.

The Baltimore Orioles moved to 9-4 in the month of August with a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.

In Tuesday night’s matchup, Toronto looks for revenge as Alek Manoah battles Dean Kremer on the mound.

This is an important series in a crowded AL playoff race. Toronto is currently tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card, leaving Baltimore 1.5 games back. 

Check out our MLB picks and predictions for the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, August 16.

Orioles vs Blue Jays odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Blue Jays opened -215, but money has come on them and widened the line, which currently resides between -213 and -235, with most books closer to the latter. As for the total, both 8.5 and 9 are available at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Orioles vs Blue Jays predictions

Picks made on 8/16/2022 at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Orioles vs Blue Jays game info

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2022
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV: MASN, Sportsnet

Orioles vs Blue Jays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Dean Kremer (4-4, 3.70 ERA): In Kremer’s first extended stay in the show, he compiled an ugly 7.55 ERA across 13 starts in 2021. It’s safe to say things have gone better for the right-hander this go around as indicated by his 3.69 ERA. His 4.87 xERA is a concern and his 6.4% barrel rate is too high to trust considering he pitches to contact.

Alek Manoah (12-5, 2.56 ERA)Toronto found a good one in Manoah. Despite being just 24 years old, he’s been one of the better pitchers in MLB this season. His 2.56 ERA is fantastic, although his 3.44 xERA does indicate that some regression might be incoming. His strikeout rate (22.4%) is down over five percentage points from last season, but he’s countered that by lowering his walk rate by three percentage points to 5.6%. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Betting trend to know

Toronto is 9-2 in its last 11 games on astroturf. Find more MLB betting trends for Orioles vs. Blue Jays

Orioles vs Blue Jays picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

With these teams so close in the AL East and Wild Card standings, it’s fair to question whether or not this line is too wide. After all, these divisional foes have played seven times this season and Baltimore has won five times — yet the Orioles are a significant +195 underdog at most books.

The pitching discrepancy is the most likely answer. Manoah has been fantastic, compiling a 2.56 ERA, while Kremer’s 4.87 xERA and 6.4% barrel rate don’t instill much confidence. 

Still, Manoah has faced the Orioles twice in 2022 and his team is 1-1 during those games. He tossed a beautiful one-hit, seven-strikeout, blanking of the Orioles back on June 13, but allowed three earned on eight hits across only five innings in a no-decision in his most recent outing, which Toronto lost 6-5.

Ultimately, it’s hard to not give Toronto a significant edge in starting pitching. The Blue Jays are 13-9 in Manoah’s starts this season, which includes a 6-2 record at home.

As for the lineups, Toronto ranks fifth in wRC+ this season while Baltimore checks in at 20th. The roles have been almost perfectly reversed in the month of August, however, as Baltimore ranks fifth in wRC+ and Toronto ranks 21st. 

The Orioles have been hot, going 25-11 in their last 36 games overall. This seems like a favorable spot for them as they’ve had success against Toronto this season and are 9-2 in their last 11 during Game 2 of a series and 5-0 in their last five Tuesday games. 

The Blue Jays have been cold, going 1-5 in their last six overall. The line is not justified in my opinion, so I’ll side with the Orioles against the moneyline as it represents better value.

Prediction: Orioles moneyline (+195 at bet365)

Covers MLB betting analysis

Over/Under analysis

If you played the Under in every game that these two starting pitchers appeared in during the 2022 season, you would’ve made a nice profit. The Orioles are 8-4 to the Under in Kremer’s 12 starts while the Blue Jays are 14-8 to the Under when Manoah is on the bump.

Baltimore has been hot at the plate, ranking fifth in both wOBA and wRC+ since the calendar flipped to June. Manoah has been fantastic this season, and it’s difficult to project the Orioles for an offensive explosion when facing a pitcher who has allowed just a 3.8% barrel rate this season.

Toronto’s lineup has gone through hot and cold stretches this season. It’s a potent lineup that can look very dangerous when things are clicking. The Blue Jays are in the midst of a cold spell, however, ranking 19th in wOBA and 21st in wRC+ in August.

Toronto is 9-2 to the Under in its last 11 games on astroturf and the Under has been a good play at the Rogers Centre during this cold spell, cashing in seven of the Blue Jays’ last nine home games. 

Both of these starting pitchers have trended toward the Under this season, and I’ll bet on that to continue Tuesday night.

Prediction: Under 9 (-120 at DraftKings)

Best bet

I’m rocking with the Under as Tuesday’s Best Bet between the Orioles and Blue Jays. 

Baltimore’s bats have been hot, but a matchup against Manoah is nothing to scoff at. The youngster has been terrific this season, posting a 2.56 ERA and 3.8% barrel rate. Toronto is 14-8 to the Under in games that he starts.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s lineup has gone cold, and though Kremer may not be a household name, the Orioles have gone 8-4 to the Under across his 12 starts.

Some books are posting a total of 8.5 but 9 is available in a few spots, so I’m grabbing that number and riding with Under 9 as the best bet.

PickUnder 9 (-120 at DraftKings)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Orioles vs. Blue Jays picks, you could win $44.08 on a $10 bet?

Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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