MLB Baseball: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays Preview, Prediction & Odds - Aug. 30, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:07 p.m. EDT
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Where to watch: MASN 2, SNET, SNET-1, TVA Sports

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Blue Jays -280, Orioles +225
FanDuel: NL

Season record
Orioles: 40-89 (Last place, AL East)
Blue Jays: 68-61 (4th place, AL East)

Jim Feist continues his hot run in baseball, 2-1 yesterday and 18-5 over his last 23 releases. Jim has isolated a team tonight that will run away with this game. That demands a run-line play on this side as this game won't be close at all. Join a Vegas betting veteran with over 48 years of winning experience and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Orioles - Blue Jays preview and analysis

Recent form
Orioles: 1-9 in last 10
Blue Jays: 5-5 in last 10

I mean, if it takes the Toronto Blue Jays needing to play the Baltimore Orioles in order to make one more run at a playoff spot, have at it.

But now that the Orioles can win games again, it may not be a given.

But we’ll see if that actually translates to something worthwhile when the Orioles visit the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre for a three-game series starting Monday.

The Blue Jays have fallen quickly out of the playoff pecking order since the trade deadline, and are now a month out from possibly missing out on the postseason altogether. Toronto entered Sunday 6.5 games back out of the second wild card in the American League and have lost six of 10.

If there was any hope of getting the Blue Jays getting back on the winning trail, it might be against the lowly Orioles. Baltimore is coming off being swept in a three-game series at the hands of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, just days after ending their 19-game losing streak a week ago against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Orioles lost 12-8 in the series finale. They trailed 3-2 heading into the sixth inning before Baltimore’s bullpen imploded, allowing three, four and two runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Spenser Watkins kept Tampa’s offense in check before giving up back-to-back homers from Austin Meadows and Joey Wendle.

It was a banner of the day for the Baltimore offense. Offensive MVP Cedric Mullins went 2-for-5 and his 24th home run of the season; Ryan Mountacastle had a 4-for-5 day and crossed home plate three times while also hitting his 24th homer; Trey Mancini also had a 3-for-5 day with only one RBI.

Much like has been the case for Baltimore all season, no pitching help, especially on the backend. Relief pitcher Paul Fry gave up four runs in only one-third of an inning, and Connor Greene also gave up two runs on three hits in less than two innings.

In fairness, it was a much better offensive showing for the Orioles on Sunday, putting up only three runs each Friday and Saturday. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, or something like that.

Chris Ellis is expected to take the mound in what would be his second career start for Baltimore. The 28-year-old right-hander allowed three runs in three innings in the Orioles’ win over the Angels last week.

The Blue Jays will send Robbie Ray to the mound as they look for a third consecutive win in hopes of some sort of momentum. This will kickstart a quick six-game home trip; the Oakland Athletics will follow in what could be a season-defining three-game set starting Friday.

It was also a much-needed effort from starter Jose Berrios in a game the Blue Jays absolutely needed. The trade deadline acquisition threw seven innings, allowed only one run, and had 11 strikeouts in Toronto’s 2-1 victory in the series finale Sunday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Toronto wound up winning the series thanks to homers from Bo Bichette and Kevin Smith. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also had a 2-for-4 day in what was a struggling time for the Toronto offense, gathering 10 hits; the defense also was responsible for two errors.

This is a crucial stretch for the Blue Jays. The allure of returning to Toronto since playing all their ball at Sahlen Field in Buffalo has worn off. The Blue Jays are 8-11 since Aug. 10 and have scored three runs or fewer on eight different occasions. Part of that has been due to the absence of leadoff man George Springer, who could return to the lineup Monday from a sprained knee.

Ray will try to keep his stellar season going on Monday when he throws the game’s first pitch to begin this matchup. The 29-year-old left-hander is 9-5 with a career-low 2.72 ERA and a WHIP of 1.02. Ray has actually had no-decisions in his past five starts; his last win came July 28 against the Red Sox, but Ray has allowed two earned runs or fewer in those five decisions. In his last six starts, Ray has given up seven total runs and 16 dating back to June 29. When you look for players responsible for Toronto’s run at potential playoff spot, you can look to Ray as a part of that fun rotation.


The next time these teams play again will be a four-game series in Baltimore starting Sept. 10. Now’s the time for the Blue Jays to get going. There are some winnable games inbetween some tough matchups (including a four-game set next Monday against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium). If Toronto wants to catch the Boston Red Sox, now’s the time to take things seriously. Blue Jays win 8-5.

Betting trends

Toronto is 45-35 (-12.2 net games on the money line) when a favorite this season.

A reflection of how small the Orioles odds are in winning lately: They’re 107-210 the last three seasons when an underdog.

Overall, the Orioles are 3-22 (-17.2 net games on the moneyline) in August.

The under is 17-8 in Ray’s starts this season.

Key injuries

Blue Jays: CF George Springer (knee, questionable)

Players to watch

Orioles: Trey Mancini had a seven-game hit streak end Saturday, but he’s been finding ways to contribute without his power. He hasn’t homered since Aug. 14.

Blue Jays: Marcus Semien’s power has dried up the past eight games. Toronto’s shortstop, who has 32 homers this season, has only two in the last eight, both coming in one game Aug. 26 against the Chicago White Sox.

Projected lineup

Cedric Mullins (L) CF
Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
Trey Mancini (R) DH
DJ Stewart (L) RF
Austin Hays (R) LF
Jorge Mateo (R) SS
Jahmai Jones (R) 2B
Kelvin Gutierrez (R) 3B
Austin Wynns (R) C

Blue Jays:
Marcus Semien (R) 2B
Bo Bichette (R) SS
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
Alejandro Kirk (R) DH
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
Randal Grichuk (R) CF
Kevin Smith (R) 3B
Reese McGuire (L) C

Statistical leaders

Batting average: Cedric Mullins (.306)
Hits: Cedric Mullins (148)
Home runs: Ryan Mountcastle (23)
RBI: Ryan Mountcastle (70)
Stolen bases: Cedric Mullins (24)
Wins: Matt Harvey (6)
Saves: Cesar Valdez (8)

Blue Jays:
Batting average: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.310)
Hits: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (146)
Home runs: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (36)
RBI: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (91)
Stolen bases: Bo Bichette (19)
Wins: Hyun Jin Ryu (12)
Saves: Jordan Romano (13)
ERA: Robbie Ray (2.72)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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