The Baltimore Orioles just finished up two series with teams that have not been in contention and will not be headed to the playoffs, and now they’ll have a couple more this week. They’ll start by hosting the Toronto Blue Jays for a four-game set starting on Monday and while the Orioles are in good shape to close out the season strong, they’ll have to keep their guard up.
People making their MLB picks will expect Baltimore to get at least three wins versus the Blue Jays, who have been completely and utterly hapless in the second half of the season. The Orioles have won nine of their last 11 games overall while the Blue Jays have lost six straight and eight of their last nine.
Of the four pitchers the Jays will send to the bump, only one has a winning record. Henderson Alvarez (9-13), Ricky Romero (8-14), Aaron Laffey (3-6) and Carlos Villanueva (7-6) are the four projected started set to go up against Steve Johnson (3-0), Wie-Yin Chen (12-9), Joe Saunders (8-12) and Miguel Gonzalez (7-4).
If history is any indication, the Jays aren’t going to do so hot. Although they swept the Orioles once this season (in Toronto May 28-30), they have lost 10 of the other 12 meetings. The Jays have had a particularly rough week with Yunel Escobar’s slurs and now the six-game losing streak. They haven’t even been competitive as they’ve been outscored 42-16 in those contests.
The Orioles are likely heading to the playoffs but they can ill-afford to lose their focus in this spot. Look for them to pound the miserable Blue Jays and make sure that they keep momentum on their side as October baseball approaches.