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Orioles vs. Nationals, 7:05 ET
If you like a good story, the Baltimore Orioles are the team for you. Last year was a great story for them, except for the fact that they didn’t make the playoffs. They won’t surprise really anyone this season like they did last year. The Nationals aren’t really going to surprise anyone this year either, their expectation is they will lose a lot of games, and they will.
Baltimore in a different division might be one of the better teams. Unfortunately, they are in the AL East and their best chance at getting into the playoffs will be the Wild Card. They are far behind the Rays, the Blue Jays are more talented, and the Yankees have way more spending room in addition to talent. Still, Baltimore can’t just be an assumed loss any longer. They have some great young talent and if they can get their pitching on track, they might be able to get to a second Wild Card spot. One of the reasons for their success last year was Dean Kremer. Last year he had the best season of his young career, and this year he is reverting back to the poor performance from his first two seasons. He isn’t going deep into games which is causing the bullpen to be taxed. He also has allowed at least four earned runs in each game. Kremer has faced the Nationals only a few times, but he allowed five doubles in 17 at-bats.
The Nationals are off to the exact start you’d expect from them. They are just 5-11 on the early season, but the sad thing is that this is the same franchise that won a World Series just four years ago. Their team will likely sell off anything that isn’t nailed down during this year as well as they came into it knowing that this season is likely to be one of the rebuilding years. One of those guys that might go is Josiah Gray. He’s not a great pitcher, but he has shown some signs of progress this season and kept the Nationals in two of his three starts, even though they lost all three games. Over his last two starts, he allowed three earned runs over 11.2 innings. Orioles hitters don’t have experience against him aside from Adam Frazier who is 2-for-2 against him with a home run.
I like the way that Gray has been pitching lately much better than I like the way that Kremer has thrown the ball so far this season. I want to take the Nationals in this one through five innings at +105. I somewhat like the Orioles under 4.5 runs too, but they’ve been putting up some good runs lately. I also lean the under in the game, but the issue is either of these pitchers could get rocked in this game.
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