Toronto (39-31) at Baltimore (38-28)
When: Saturday, June 18th 2016
Where: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Time: 4:05 ET | TV: Sportsnet, MASN
Don’t look now, but the Toronto Blue Jays are on the move again up the A.L. East ladder. They’ll play in Baltimore against the Orioles on Saturday looking to tie for first place in the division. Toronto is riding a four-game winning streak and have won seven of eight overall. Not only are they winning, but they’re mashing the ball once again scoring ten or more runs in five of their last seven. Michael Saunders blasted three homeruns and drove-in a career-high eight RBIs as the Blue Jays closed within a game of first-place Baltimore in the American League East with a 13-3 victory in the series opener last night. It was Toronto’s fourth straight win over the Orioles in a span of eight days. Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson is riding a 10-game hitting streak and is 10-for-15 with three homers and nine RBIs in the last four games for Toronto. Donaldson became the eighth player in franchise history to reach base safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances. The Jays placed Jose Bautista (toe) on the 15-day disabled list Friday. Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado had an RBI single among two hits Friday to improve to 15-for-35 against the Blue Jays this season. The Orioles’ pitching staff has allowed the Blue Jays to score 34 runs over the past three meetings. Orioles SS J.J. Hardy, who has been out since May 2 with a fracture in his left foot, is expected to be activated Saturday or Sunday.
Pitchers: Blue Jays – R.A. Dickey (4-7, 4.16 ERA) | Orioles – Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 7.00)
R.A. Dickey will get the start for Toronto and he has suffered the only Blue Jays loss in the last eight games. He allowed three runs on five hits over 6.1 innings in a 7-0 loss at Philadelphia last week. Dickey allowed a total of two earned runs over 12 innings in back-to-back road wins at Detroit and Boston in his previous starts. Manny Machado is 7-for-19 against Dickey, who is 2-6 with a 3.97 ERA versus the Orioles after a no-decision at Baltimore on April 20th.
Yovani Gallardo, who made at least 30 starts in each of the previous seven seasons, will come off the disabled list to make his first start since April 22nd. Following a strong season debut versus Minnesota in which he allowed just one run on two hits over five innings, Gallardo allowed 13 runs over 13 innings in his next three starts before going on the DL with biceps tendinitis. Gallardo has won all three career starts versus Toronto while posting a strong 1.33 ERA.
This game has all the makings of a slugfest. The Blue Jays alone have been going over the total this week and it’s wise to go against pitchers coming off the DL. Gallardo might have strong numbers against the Blue Jays, but that won’t matter tonight. The Orioles will also hit Dickey pretty good tonight. It’s a high total, but that’s the play tonight.
Pick: Over 9.5 -115