Being the Baltimore Orioles is about as much fun as having a wad of cash in Vegas and being told you can only play penny slots. Every now and again you will walk away a winner from a slot machine and feel good about yourself, but for the most part, rather unfulfilling and a losing proposition.
Baltimore has the worst record in baseball at 25-59 and after winning four in a row and five of six at the end June, life has returned to normal in Crab Cake-land with the Orioles 1-6 in July to start the month. The Orioles have more warts than a case of Compound W could take care of.
The majority of this article will focus on the offense, or in the case of the O’s, the lack of times they touch home plate for scores.
Baltimore is 27th in baseball in scoring at 3.6 runs per game and only Seattle scores less in the American League. As horrific as this sounds, it gets worse when the Orioles wear the visiting uniforms. They are the only team in the big leagues that has yet to register 10 road wins (9-34). Their runs scored per game falls to 3.3 and they lack the power or patience to change matters, ranked 28th in home runs as visitors and 29th in attracting walks. After yesterday’s 4-2 loss completed a sweep for Detroit, these Birds are 8-26 after scoring two runs or less this season.
Being such a sorry offensive club, Baltimore has a great deal to overcome when the pitching staff permits 5.4 runs per game. (That’s six runs per contest just to have a chance to win for those keeping score at home) Jeremy Guthrie (3-10, 4.64 ERA) will be entrusted in righting Baltimore’s situation and this will not be a simple task, given the opponent and his recent past.
Guthrie is 0-6 with a 6.17 ERA in seven starts since beating Oakland on May 25 and was hammered his last time out. The O’s right-hander was tagged for six runs and a season-high nine hits over four-plus innings in a 9-3 wipeout at Boston last Saturday.
Texas (50-34) is the clear leader in the AL West, 5.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County near Disneyland. The Rangers play in a nice little bandbox in Arlington where they are 31-15 and score six runs per game on the button.
They will send Tommy Hunter (5-0, 1.98) to toe the rubber as starter. The 24-year old has won a team record five straight home games to start the season and is 11-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 17 career starts in Arlington. With the total listed at 9.5 at sportsbooks, Hunter and Texas are 14-4 when the number is 8.5 to 10 over the last two seasons.
The Rangers are a -250 money line favorite at home, however for sports bettors, the value sets up better to play them on the run line (-1.5, -130), especially with this system running.
Play Against road underdogs vs. the 1.5 run line (Run Line range of +165 to -135) who are horrible AL offensive team, scoring 3.7 runs a game or less on the season, in the second half of the year.
Dating back to 1997, this system is 48-18 and has been even sharper in 2010 with 7-2 mark. It’s impossible to ignore the Orioles are 16-41 after a loss this season and 12-41 on the road after four or more consecutive contests away from Camden Yards since last year. Throw in the fact Baltimore is 5-25 against the ML as a road underdog of +150 or more in 2010, losing by exactly two runs per game and this run line system is looking stronger by the minute.