BetsByBob Sunday MLB best bets: Blue Jays to keep rolling against Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) doubles in the sixth inning during spring training at TD Ballpark.

Sunday in the MLB means all day games and one nightcap to be featured on Sunday Night Baseball. It is also a day where series are being wrapped up. Some teams want to get back home, and some are looking forward to their next opponent. I have always found Sundays to be a bit more difficult to handicap on the diamond. Today wasn’t one of those days, though. I have quite a few plays that I like today, and have gone into a bit more detail on my two favorites below. Let’s dig in.

Baltimore Orioles (Jorge Lopez) at Toronto Blue Jays (Ross Stripling)

Play: Blue Jays -1.5 (-125)

*Playable to Blue Jays -1.5 (-135)

The Baltimore Orioles are looking to get out of Buffalo with a series split after losing two of the first three games in the series. However, the Toronto Blue Jays will have other plans. The Blue Jays put the beat down on the Orioles yesterday, jumping out to a 12-0 lead in the sixth and never looking back. I like the chances for their offense to stay hot against a sub-par starting pitcher.

Jorge Lopez gets the nod to wrap up this four-game set. He has an ERA of 5.68 with a FIP of 5.18, so nothing really to write home about. There are also some underlying issues with the other peripherals. He has given up 14 home runs in 71.1 innings of work. There is a ton of hard contact allowed to a rate of 42.8 percent, and he walks 9.2 percent of batters. That is a bad combo against a very good hitting Blue Jays team, and could see Lopez struggling some more.

Ross Stripling will get the assignment of opposing Lopez, and has been a serviceable starting pitcher this season. He has an ERA of 4.33 with as FIP right in line with that at 4.31. While Stripling also has a bit of a home run problem, the Orioles are much less of a threat than the Blue Jays are. Stripling manages the zone well, and doesn’t allow a ton of free passes. The Blue Jays’ offense can save Stripling from any struggles he runs into, and they should easily take the final game of the series.

Chicago Cubs (Adbert Alzolay) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw)

Play: Cubs (+180)

*Playable to Cubs (+165)

Javier Baez playing for the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are looking to wrap up their four-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers today, and would love to leave town with a split. The Cubs were able to take the opener, but dropped the past two games. It has been a low-scoring series, and with the pitching matchup we have today, I see that continuing.

Adbert Alzolay gets the start for the Cubs, and has quietly been turning in a nice season for the youngster. He has an ERA of 4.19 with a FIP of 4.47, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Alzolay has had great command this season, and is hardly giving up many free passes. He has trusted his stuff, and should because he has a nasty slider. He strikes out 26.8 percent of the batters he faces, and 45.4 percent of the contact he does give up is on the ground. The Dodgers haven’t been hitting much recently, and Alzolay has the talent to keep them at bay again.

Clayton Kershaw will be on the other side, and is an opponent the Cubs know all too well. He is in the midst of another great season, with an ERA of 3.43 and a FIP of 2.95 — it’s what we have come to expect of him. All his peripherals check out, but his hard-hit percentage is up, and so is his fly ball percentage. The Cubs’ best four hitters in Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Wilson Contreras, have all homered against Kershaw at least once. The Cubs also have hit lefties much better this season, and this number feels too high. I make this line closer to (-160/+145), and will gladly take a shot on an inflated underdog price.

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