REGINA — What a difference a week made for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
One week after getting trounced 37-13 by the Alouettes in Montreal, the Riders returned home to Mosaic Stadium and gained a measure of revenge with a 41-20 victory over the Quebec-based squad on Saturday.
The Riders struggled in the June 23 loss, playing their second road game in five days and travelling across the country with just one day of practice under their belts. Saturday’s game didn’t start much better as the Riders trailed 13-11 at the half.
Montreal head coach Khari Jones made an interesting decision to start the second half, a choice that ended up having a serious impact on the game. Jones decided to kick off to start the half and get the wind for the fourth quarter.
Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo interpreted that decision as a sign of disrespect.
“We felt a little disrespected as an offence because they chose to kick off to us again. We took it personally so we went out there and it kind of motivated us on offence. It got us rolling, we drove down the field, scored and kind of gave us the momentum back,” said Fajardo.
Saskatchewan scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the third quarter to take a 32-13 lead. Jamal Morrow, on a 12-yard run, Fajardo, on a one-yard quarterback sneak, and Kian Schaeffer-Baker, on a 44-yard reception, scored the Saskatchewan majors.
A two-point convert attempt failed after Morrow’s touchdown but he was successful with a two-point convert after Fajardo’s touchdown. The Riders kicked a PAT following Schaffer-Baker’s touchdown.
The Riders have been dealing with injury problems on offence. They lost centre Dan Clark and receiver Shaq Evans earlier in the season and a number of players were nicked up in Saturday’s game, including receiver Duke Williams.
Left with a large number of new starters, the Saskatchewan coaching staff decided to stick to the basics in the second half.
“We got really simple on offence. And I think if you look at our team and our offence especially, I don’t think there’s maybe three guys on the offence right now that have had two full seasons as starters,” said Fajardo.
” … Being simple and just playing fast sometimes helps and Coach Maas did a great job of simplifying our game plan,” said Fajardo. “We went out there and we executed really well.”
Riders head coach Craig Dickenson used the halftime break to deliver a clear message to his team.
“One thing we talked about at halftime was to play the way we’re capable of and see what the score is at the end. … I challenged them specifically at halftime — ‘Show me your character the second half and win, lose or draw, play as hard as you can and leave it all out there.’ They came out and really did a good job,” said Dickenson.
Morrow had an impressive game, gaining 103 yards on 16 carries. It was Morrow’s second 100-yard game of the season after he posted 126 yards rushing on 17 carries in a 26-16 victory over the Edmonton Elks on June 18.
Cornerback Nick Marshall sealed the victory for the Riders with a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Fajardo connected with Morrow on a two-point convert to increase Saskatchewan’s lead to 41-20.
The Riders also got an eight-yard touchdown reception from Mitchell Picton in the first quarter. Kicker Brett Lauther added a 57-yard field goal, an effort that tied his career best. Punter Kaare Vedvik had a 41-yard single.
The Riders had six sacks on the day with Anthony Lanier leading the charge with three. Pete Robertson, with two, and AC Leonard, with one, also had sacks for the Riders. Robertson leads the CFL with seven sacks.
Chandler Worthy, who took the opening kickoff of the June 23 game 88 yards for a touchdown, returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
Walter Fletcher, who took over at running back after Montreal starter Jeshrun Antwi was injured early in the second half, scored on a three-yard run midway through the third quarter. David Cote had two field goals for Montreal, connecting from 18 and 38 yards.
It was a penalty-filled game with Saskatchewan taking 16 penalties for 155 yards, while Montreal had 12 penalties for 105 yards. Montreal defensive lineman Michael Wakefield was ejected from the game midway through the third quarter after taking his second misconduct penalty of the game.
When asked if there was a lot of animosity on the field on Saturday, Riders offensive lineman Logan Ferland delivered a sharp reply.
“Absolutely. I mean, we had some payback, we were getting chirped quite a bit last game so it felt really good to get them back,” said Ferland.
The 3-1 Riders return to action on July 8 when they host the Ottawa Redblacks. The 1-3 Alouettes head into their bye week before hosting the Elks on July 14.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2022
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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