The Orioles turn to 2018 first-round pick Grayson Rodriguez today in his second Major League start. He was impressive in his debut, holding a powerful Rangers lineup to just two runs over five innings with five strikeouts, and hopes to keep that momentum rolling today against the Athletics.
Kyle Muller gets the call for Oakland, bringing in a 2.53 ERA after a pair of solid starts against the Angels and Guardians. Unfortunately for Muller, the Athletics' offense is in a dreadful slump and he'll need to pick up the slack.
Entering this series, Oakland had four straight losses and was shut out in back-to-back games. With a good offense behind him, I like Rodriguez's chances to earn his first win in the big leagues in convincing fashion.
Let's take a peak at the odds before I explain why I'm backing the Orioles.
Athletics vs. Orioles Odds, Run Line, and Total
Athletics vs. Orioles Prediction and Pick
Kyle Muller is off to a nice start, but I'm fading him against a superior pitcher and an Orioles offense that ranks fifth in OPS against left-handed pitchers (.896). While Muller has a 2.53 ERA through two outings, his 4.23 xERA implies he's been a bit lucky.
While Muller's luck is likely to run out sooner or later, Grayson Rodriguez is just getting started. One of the Orioles' best pitching prospects, Rodriguez cruised through AAA last year with a 2.20 ERA and looks every bit the part of a future ace.
Against a pathetic A's offense that's 28th in OPS (.584), this is the perfect time for Rodriguez to get his first career win. He's in the 86th percnetile in average exit velocity and 76th in Whiff percentage thanks to a deadly fastball and dangerous slider, so I think he'll pile on the strikeouts against an overmatched lineup.
There's no need to overthink this one. At +130, I love the value on backing Baltimore on the run line. This is a perfect spot to fade Muller, and Rodriguez looks like a potential star. Take the Orioles -1.5 and let's see Rodriguez earn that first victory at home.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.