The Orioles and Nationals will renew acquaintances in their interleague rivalry on Tuesday night. Baltimore has struggled all across the board, but they’re particularly poor lately in interleague games. They’re 0-9 in their past nine interleague games against teams with a winning record, 0-5 in their past five interleague road outings against a team with a winning mark and 2-7 in their past nine interleague road assignments overall. Washington hasn’t fared well in interleague games lately, either, going 1-4 in their past five heading into Monday’s continuation of a game against the Nationals. However, Washington has taken advantage when playing the dregs of the league, going 48-23 in the past 71 games against teams with a winning percentage under .400. Washington has won five straight meetings against Baltimore, while going ‘under’ has hit in four in a row.
The Athletics and Padres will do battle in interleague play, as the A’s look to hang around in the playoff chase. They enter the new week at 36-36, while the Padres are six games under .500 at 34-40. Oakland has stumbled in series openers, going 2-6 in their past eight Game 1s of a new series. They’re also just 7-16 in their past 23 interleague games against a team with a losing record. San Diego has won four of their past five at home, but they’re just 1-5 in their past six against the American League west, while winning just once in the past six interleague battles. Oakland has rattled off five wins in the past six trips to Petco Park, while going 8-3 in the past 11 meetings overall. Total bettors will like the fact the ‘over’ is 6-1 in the past seven at Petco, and 9-3 in the past 12 meetings overall.
Atlanta (-102) vs Toronto (-108); Total set at 9
The interesting thing about this game tonight is the fact that these “rivals” – interleague matchups tend to be based on geography for “rival” purposes, but since there is no other Canadian team the league defaults to past World Series opponents for Toronto – is that starter Jaime Garcia is now on the other side of the field.
Last year it was Garcia who was in a Braves jersey and managed to be on the right side of a 9-5 win in Toronto back in mid-May. Now Garcia looks for another win in this rivalry, albeit with the other team, but his transition to the AL hasn’t gone as smoothly as he would have liked. He’s got a 2-5 SU record through 12 starts this year and he’s allowed more hits (63) than he’s got innings pitched (58.1).
There is the notion that he may know how to mow down a few of his former teammates, but with a 6.39 ERA over his last three starts in general, recent form suggests this Atlanta team is more likely to use their knowledge of Garcia to their benefit.
The good news for Blue Jays fans if that ends up being the case is the fact that Toronto’s bats have been hitting the ball much better at home of late. Toronto has scored 4+ runs in six of their last seven at home overall and are up against a young guy in Michael Soroka who probably is in store for some significant regression.
Soroka is coming off a one-hit, 6.1 IP start that saw the Braves win 2-0 over the Mets and with that being his fourth start of the campaign, chances are that’s not going to be duplicated here. It’s also the first time this year that he won’t be getting a “free out” by facing the opposition pitcher, and sometimes even little things like that can rattle a starting pitcher to the point where innings (and rallies) become longer and it turns into a rough outing for them.
That’s why when I look at the VegasInsider.com betting percentage numbers for this game and see 70% of the bets already on the low side of this total, i don’t really get it. The ML wagers are basically split 50/50 and that’s where I expected them to be, but I view this game as having much more value on the high side of this total, and being in the distinct minority there prompted me to fire.
For one, Garcia’s struggles this year in Toronto have been real, and the last thing a struggling guy really needs to see is a former team that knows him (and how to attack him) extremely well.
Obviously that knowledge works both ways, but the Braves are a pretty hot team themselves having won five of their last six, and with a 7-1 O/U run on the road going for Atlanta, playing some higher scoring games away from home has become pretty normal for them. The Braves are also 11-5 O/U in their last 16 contests against a southpaw as well.
Toronto has a 7-2 O/U run going in interleague affairs, and know that one of their bigger problems with Garcia on the hill this year has been the lack of run support they’ve given him. That’s likely to change sooner than later, and with these two teams being no strangers to high scoring games against one another – 4-0 O/U last four meetings and 6-1 O/U last seven meetings in Toronto – tonight should be the night the offense starts to give Garcia a bit more help.
The Mariners hope to continue this magical run against a talented foe on the road, but that seems like too much to ask. The pitching matchup looks pretty even but the location and the talent in the lineup should help push the Yankees over the edge.
Don’t be afraid to jump in the 2.5-run spread as New York should win this one going away in MLB betting lines.