TORONTO – On the very first Toronto Raptors offensive possession Saturday night, guard Fred VanVleet received an inbounds pass from the baseline, quickly crossed the time line, quickly surveyed the court and found rookie Terence Davis, who was using a Serge Ibaka screen to free himself up after curling around from underneath the Brooklyn Nets basket to the right wing.
This freed Davis up enough to rise up and get his three-point look off, but still draw a foul on the defending Caris LeVert, who ended up a step too slow chasing Davis and could only reach in on him and helplessly watch as the Toronto shooting guard brushed off the contact and drilled the triple with ease.
A four-point play and the game wasn’t even 30 seconds old.
That was how just the second start of Davis’ NBA career began.
Replacing the injured Kyle Lowry in the starting lineup Saturday, Davis immediately picked up where he’d left off Friday, when he exploded for 11 points in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers, helping spark the Raptors at a time when Lowry was forced to exit due to whiplash.
On Saturday, Davis began the game with a four-point play, then drilled another three about three minutes later and finished the opening frame with nine points and four rebounds (two coming from the offensive glass).
It was a stellar start to a game that saw Davis finish with 20 points, eight rebounds and 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range as the Raptors ran their winning streak to 14 games with a 119-118 win over Brooklyn.
And this was just the latest in what has been a strong run of late for Davis, personally.
Including Saturday’s affair, the 22-year-old is averaging 19.8 points on 60 per cent shooting from the field and 60.7 per cent from outside over his last four games, which, not-so-coincidentally, has coincided with the Raptors, once again, dealing with injury.
Taken as a whole, Davis has experienced a solid, but also typical rookie season in the sense that it has had its share of ups and downs. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see a trend that those “ups” have normally come during stretches when the Raptors have been injured the most.
He had his breakout during the Raptors’ big Western Conference trip in early November when Lowry and Serge Ibaka set the tone of the season, so to speak, going down in the same game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Then, when Norman Powell and Marc Gasol got bit by the injury bug in late December and bleeding into the new year, Davis again managed to raise his level of play.
And now, in these last four games, once again without Powell and Gasol, Davis is elevating his game and looks better than ever.
“Nothing’s changed, man. It’s just work and being ready for the opportunities,” Davis said of the four-game hot streak he’s been on. “When we had the first wave of injuries — this was back [on] our first West coast trip — opportunity came. And then I didn’t know if it would come back around, but I just wanted to be ready and I’d continue to put the work in.”
As has been said many times this season before, the silver lining to the injuries the Raptors have sustained has been the increased opportunity for a player like Davis who likely wasn’t going to get as much chance to show what he can do had the team been able to stay healthy. However, it’s not like extenuating circumstance is the only reason why Davis has been given more chances to prove himself — he’s both earned the opportunities given to him and has the advantage of seemingly having it in his DNA to rise to the occasion when required.
“I’ve always been the guy that plays and when there’s a big moment I’m not afraid of it,” said Davis. “Just by where I come from and the kind of situations I’ve been in, and the preparation. You just have to prepare yourself for those moments. So, it’s just how I think and how I go about it and the confidence is built.”
But while Davis is probably the most visible example, that confidence and fearlessness to step in and make an impact on a game he spoke of can be seen up and down the entire Raptors roster.
This was best exemplified by the five-man, all-bench lineup of Patrick McCaw, Matt Thomas, Oshae Brissett, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris Boucher that Raptors coach Nick Nurse rolled with late in the first quarter and much of the second quarter Saturday.
This was a lineup that had only played four fleeting minutes with each other once before in a game this season. But it came out and helped turn the tide for Toronto to build a sizeable lead heading into halftime.
“That group was awesome in the first half, right? They were incredible,” Nurse said. “They turned a lacklustre start to the game into an energetic game and they were great.”
Chief among the players leading this Raptors reserve rout was Matt Thomas, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the second quarter, going 3-for-3 from deep and 4-of-5 from the field in that span, including an acrobatic alley-oop layup that got the Scotiabank Arena crowd buzzing.
“You can’t leave [Thomas], and he’s actually a good cutter,” said VanVleet, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to help Toronto hold for the one-point victory Saturday after blowing an 18-point lead. “He’s a good scorer, man, obviously people love him for his three but he’s a really good scorer. He’s got a knack of getting his shot off.”
In that second quarter, the Nets tried to stymie Toronto with a zone. But because Thomas’ shooting ability (as well as the threat of his shooting ability), they were largely unsuccessful in doing so.
As a result, Thomas played the best game of his brief NBA career, but the credit shouldn’t just go to a failed defensive scheme by the Nets.
No, like Davis has been all season long, Thomas was ready when his number was called.
Two undrafted rookies who played key roles in extending a record-breaking win streak for a defending champion.
Not exactly a new storyline to point out, but still amazing to think about, nonetheless.
It also speaks to a larger trend we’ve seen in regard to this Raptors team all season long. On Saturday it was Davis and Thomas getting it done. And on Monday and beyond who knows who else will step up and meet the task?
“I think it’s just a testament to how hard everyone works on the team,” Thomas said. “Everyone stays ready. We have a very deep and talented team and everyone’s more than capable of coming in and making plays. Also, it just shows the chemistry we have on this team. We’re all so good at playing off each other and everyone plays unselfishly and plays the right way.”
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.
A one-liner for each BMW Championship participant – PGA TOUR
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.
Best Orioles vs Blue Jays bonuses
If you’re betting on MLB tonight, here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) Over 5.5 strikeouts in match, Over 0.5 home runs in match, Blue Jays win BOOSTED to +850 at bet365! Claim Now
B) New users can get a no-sweat first bet (up to $1,000) at FanDuel! Sign Up Now
*Eligible USA locations only
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)
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.
Pages related to this topic
China’s premier urges pro-growth policies as economy sputters – Al Jazeera English
Spreading roots: City of Charlottetown calling for art proposals for tree appreciation program – Saltwire
Canada's largest women's festival, Kingston Women's Art Festival, returns – Kingstonist
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Global Media Markets, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F – TV and Radio Broadcasting, Film and Music, Information Services, Web Content, Search Portals And Social Media, Print Media, & Cable – GlobeNewswire
Economy24 hours ago
Brazil economic activity much brisker than expected in June – Financial Post
News12 hours ago
Baskin-Robbins signs its largest franchise development agreement in 51 years in Canada
Health13 hours ago
Why it’s crucial to say that monkeypox is predominately affecting gay and bisexual men – Broadview Magazine
Health12 hours ago
Rapid Polio Spread In New York: All You Need To Know – TheHealthSite
News2 hours ago
Ageism: Does it Exist or Is It a Form of ‘I’m a Victim!’ Mentality? [ Part 3 ]
Politics22 hours ago
Politics Briefing: One year after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban – The Globe and Mail
News19 hours ago
Where to look for cheap rent in Canada, as prices soar, again – CBC.ca
News11 hours ago
Hip Hop Icon Maestro Fresh Wes Takes Scarborough Back To School!