The Cleveland Indians (30-24) will face the Baltimore Orioles (19-37) to continue a three-game set on Saturday, as the Orioles try to put more distance between themselves and their unconscionable 14-game losing streak that just snapped earlier in the week. The Indians, who are on the heels of the White Sox in their efforts to place first in the American League Central division, likely perceive the Orioles as a team that can provide them with some easy wins — but is it ever really that simple?
Free Picks: Cleveland Indians vs Baltimore Orioles
Lowly Orioles granted ‘favorite’ status against visiting Indians
For one thing, Baltimore won its first two games of its current home stand, besting the Minnesota Twins by scores of 7-4 and 6-3. Secondly, the Orioles have won two of their past three at home against the Indians, when these teams last matched up in 2019 (Baltimore had a staggering plus-24 run differential in that three-game series).
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Baltimore will have staff ace John Means (4-1, 2.05 ERA) on the mound against Cleveland. Means is legitimately the Orioles’ only pitcher who gives them a chance to win every time he’s on the hill.
With that said, Cleveland presents a fascinating case as a +100 money line underdog against the Orioles (10Bet), and we think we can knock down each of the factors that has allegedly put Baltimore in a more favorable position.
Yes, the Orioles won their first two games of their current home stand … but they’d lost 13 of 19 home games prior to that. Not exactly dominating in front of the friendly Camden Yards crowd. Also, that series with the Indians from 2019 has almost no bearing on the current rosters (aside from the fact that Means pitched five shutout innings in one of those games).
Lastly, Means has looked much less like his Cy Young candidate self in recent starts, which is evidenced by his 4.42 ERA (nine runs in 18 1/3 innings) through his past three outings. Of course he’s having a great year. But this recent trend should make him much less heralded by bettors — and at least a little less feared by Cleveland hitters.
Is Cleveland’s Aaron Civale (7-2, 3.28 ERA) a total bulldog? Not exactly, but he’s more than competent. He’s coming off a start in which he allowed 10 hits, which isn’t ideal, but he leads the American League in wins. And his walk rate is fairly low (2.2 per nine innings), which is important against a struggling Orioles offense that could use a bunch of free passes. Baltimore ranks 21st in MLB in team OPS (.689).
So in this rare occurrence of Baltimore playing the favorite, don’t be fooled; John Means can only do so much for this team, even if he’s on his A-game (which, again, he hasn’t been lately). We’ll take the underdog Cleveland Indians in this BetPicks prediction.
- Cleveland is 6-4 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in four of the Indians’ past six games
- Baltimore is 2-8 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in six of the Orioles’ past eight games
More MLB Free Pickssee more
The Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals continue a three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday, August 4 at 8:10 p.m. ET, with Chicago’s Lucas Giolito expected to face Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez.
The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox continue a three-game set at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, August 4 at 7:10 p.m. ET, with Detroit’s Casey Mize expected to face Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds begin a two-game series at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, August 3 at 7:10 p.m. ET, with Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda expected to face Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle.
After a Friday night victory from the Nationals, Washington looks to keep rolling against their National League rival Chicago Cubs.
Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).