KANATA, Ont. —Points to ponder as the Canucks dug another early two-goal hole and couldn’t climb all the way out in a disturbing 5-2 loss to the struggling Senators on Thursday:
MIFFED MILLER CUTS TO CHASE:‘It doesn’t matter what team we’re playing. Too many Grade As (chances) and an NHL team is going to make you pay, no matter what’
The stick slam said it all.
J.T. Miller destroyed his twig into pieces on the crossbar after a spirited rally in the third period was met by the critical fourth Senators goal. And for Miller, who increased his career-goal total to 25 late in the second period with an angry power-play howitzer to make it 2-1, this had to hurt.
A 34-25 shot advantage should have yielded a better result. But the start gave the Senators life and the finish left a bad taste. After all, Tyler Toffoli deflected Miller shot to make it 3-2 and the Canucks pressed before Bobby Ryan closed out his emotional return with the fourth goal and empty-netter to get the hat-trick.
The third goal 14 seconds into the third didn’t help.
Thatcher Demko went to the far post and when a shot went wide off the glass and bounced to side of the net, it was then fed to Rudolfs Balcers at the other post with Demko sprawled on his back.
“A pretty shitty bounce and it went right to their guy,” started Miller. “Obviously, that sucked because we felt we had some momentum and still played a really good third period. But we’ve got to find a way to keep the puck out of the net — whether it’s a bad bounce or not.
“It seemed like when we gave up a chance, it was a Grade A and it’s something we have to clean up. It didn’t seem like we gave up a whole lot, but they seemed to be good chances. But it wasn’t like the Montreal game — it was back and forth and we played on our toes.”
But weren’t these two points for the taking? This had to suck.
“Yep,” said Miller. “It doesn’t matter what team we’re playing. Too many Grade As and an NHL team is going to make you pay, no matter what.”
DEMKO DOESN’T START SMART: ‘I need to see what I could do differently, but I need to stop that (first) one. I thought I had it and when I looked it was behind me’
The first question was about the first goal. It wasn’t good.
Demko allowed a harmless early effort by Connor Brown to wiggle between his arm and body at 7:13.
“I need to look at the film to see what I could do differently, but I need to stop that one,” admitted Demko. “I thought I had it and when I looked back, it was behind me. I thought we got better as the game went on and had a really good push in third. We just weren’t able to claw back.”
The second goal came just 30 seconds later.
In a mirror imagine of the sour start in Montreal that forced Travis Green call a time-out and spit a blue streak at his club’s passive play, coughing up another two goals to the opposition was going to tax another comeback bid.
Following the first goal, Oscar Fantenberg turned the puck over and was then beaten to the net by Bobby Ryan for a re-direct. This time, Green didn’t call a time-out because he thought his club was carrying the play.
It was up to is club to figure it out. The Senators were plugging up the neutral zone, so the Canucks would have to grind and Demko would have to tighten up.
To his credit, Demko responded after Balcers clanged a sharp-angle shot off the crossbar that could have put the game away. He made a toe save and left-pad stop off the recalled Josh Norris to get out of the period.
Demko then stymied Brown on a breakaway off a long lead pass with the Canucks caught on the forecheck.
That dagger came 14 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1 and the fourth sealed it.
“I wanted to be strong to start the third, just to give the guys a chance to get back in it,” added Demko. “Tough to let that (third goal) in. Any game at this time of year is huge and we have to put this one behind us and focus on Toronto.”
TANEV ADDS TO FIGHT CLUB:‘We have a lot of bite to our game, a lot of guys who can handle themselves and we’ll need that’
The promise of a comeback was temporarily tempered by an injury to Chris Tanev.
The dutiful defenceman dropped in front of a Brown effort on a shot block and the puck struck his left ear. There was blood and he left the game but returned for the the period.
Tanev also had his first career fight at end of the first period when he took exception to a Ryan cross-check in the corner boards and responded with some stick work of his own.
It was Tanev’s first career bout and 12th for the Canucks this season. Nobody has fought more than once as the Canucks fight the notion that they may not be tough enough when teams take liberties with anyone — especially young stars like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes.
“We have a lot of bite to our game, a lot of guys who can handle themselves,” Bo Horvat said at the outset of this four-game trip. “And I want to be that guy, too.”
Horvat fought the towering Charlie Coyle of the Boston Bruins on Feb. 22 and more than held his own.
“We’ll need that” added the captain. “I was told to never show up late to a fight by Derek Dorsett. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get beat up and the adrenalin takes over from there.
“Playoff hockey is all about that and you’re going to need it and for us show that we can be in the hard matchups and show determination, it tells us we can go far.”
THE RYAN REDEMPTION: ‘I can’t remember the nerves on a game day like this in a long, long time. That’s a good sign and a good feeling again’
The troubled Senators winger responded to his first home game since leaving the club Nov. 19 in resounding fashion. His hat-trick led to standing ovations and chants of ‘Bobby, Bobby.’
It wasn’t always that way.
Ryan entered the NHL’s Players Assistance program to get help for alcoholism. He returned to Ottawa on Dec. 23. and skated on his own before allowed to practise. The rocky road to recovery wasn’t easy, but there was always support on the homefront and from the Senators.
“It was really good and really nice to be back in competition mode,” Ryan told reporters in Nashville following his first game after clearing all of the program protocols. “I can’t remember the nerves on a game day like this in a long, long time. That’s a good sign and a good feeling again.”
LISTEN: Ed Willes and Patrick Johnston join Paul Chapman to talk about the team’s resiliency in coming back against Montreal, the genius of Quinn Hughes, the fabulous first impression of Tyler Toffoli (and what it will take to keep him in Vancouver) as well as the loss of Jacob Markstrom.
Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:
Schneider: 'Everything is on the table' for struggling Kikuchi – TSN
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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Orioles vs Blue Jays Odds, Picks, & Predictions Today — Zero Value on Blue Birds – Covers
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.
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
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%.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
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.
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
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)
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.
Pick: Under 9 (-120 at DraftKings)
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