Baltimore at Toronto AL Wild Card Betting Pick & Prediction

Posted by Peter Boysen on October 3, 2016 in

The roller coaster ride that was the American League East came to an abrupt end on the season’s last day, as the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles clinched the two wild card spots. The Orioles clinched their spot by beating the New York Yankees, and the Blue Jays clinched their spot when Detroit lost to Atlanta, and the Tigers fell out of contention. The Blue Jays and the Orioles had both led the American League East at different times during the season, but Boston went on an 11-game winning streak in September to run away with the East title. Both Toronto and Baltimore finished the regular season with 89-73 records. However, Toronto won the season series, 10-9, so they get to host the wild card game. The winner moves on to face the American League West champion Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday night, down in Arlington. Check out our MLB odds for the whole postseason.

Baltimore at Toronto AL Wild Card Betting Pick, Prediction & TV Info

When: Tuesday, October 4, 2016. 8pm
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
TV: TBS
Radio: Baltimore / Toronto
Stream Option: MLB.tv
MLB Odds: TBA

Why should you bet on the Orioles?

The Orioles posted a 17-12 record in September and October, including a 10-5 record in games away from Oriole Park. The team has not named a starter yet, but the likeliest choices are Ubaldo Jimenez or Chris Tillman. The Orioles have a lineup designed to mash the ball, as they have American League home run king Mark Trumbo (47 HR) along with Chris Davis (38 HR), Adam Jones (29 HR, 83 RBI) and Manny Machado (37 HR, 96 RBI). Closer Zach Britton has converted all 47 of his save opportunities, and his knee-buckling sinker has played a major role in his microscopic 0.54 ERA — and his Cy Young candidacy).

Why should you put your money on the Blue Jays?

The Blue Jays entered September leading the American League East, but they went 13-16 in their last 29 tilts, showing a bit of a list, but they did win a pair of tight games in Boston to finish the season. Francisco Liriano and Marcus Stroman are the two most likely starting pitchers. The Blue Jays have a powerful line up as well, featuring Edwin Encarnacion (42 HR, 127 RBI), Josh Donaldson (37 HR, 99 RBI), Jose Bautista (22 HR) and Troy Tulowitzki (24 HR). Toronto has a solid closer in Roberto Osuna (36 SV / 41 chances, 2.68 ERA), and one thing that wild card games often feature is an unraveling in the late innings, as one bullpen falters while the other holds firm.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

These two teams are mirror images of each other in the way they have been put together — lineups bristling with power hitters, some flaws in the starting rotations, and lockdown bullpens. I predict a 6-4 Toronto win, setting up an ALDS rematch between the Blue Jays and the Rangers.