Sometimes the super-long MLB schedule pits two teams against one another at just the perfect time. That is the case for this week’s series between the upstart Baltimore Orioles and the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians. Only a half-game separates them in the standings but Baltimore is clinging to Wild Card contention (the O’s are two games behind the Seattle Mariners for the third AL Wild Card spot) — while Cleveland has a 1.5-game edge over the Minnesota Twins in the division. From a gambling perspective too, the Orioles vs Guardians betting series is a very exciting one.
Both teams have a ton on the line in this three-game set. The Orioles might be playing with house money during their magical 2022 campaign but they’re close enough to the postseason that falling short, at this point, would be a big letdown.
The Guardians haven’t been as big a surprise as the Orioles yet their pitching and timely hitting have turned them into a pretty formidable team. They also have their top three starters scheduled for this series, which bodes well for how the Cleveland Guardians scoreboard will look by the end of the week.
Orioles-Guardians Game 1 Information
- Game: Baltimore Orioles (67-60) at Cleveland Guardians (67-59)
- Location: Progressive Field
Cleveland’s Starters Are Tough
The Guardians will toss out Cal Quantrill, Triston McKenzie, and Shane Bieber, in that order, against the Orioles while Baltimore has Spenser Watkins, Jordan Lyles, and Kyle Bradish on tap. On paper, Cleveland has a huge advantage in terms of starting pitching matchups.
The Guardians’ projected starters all have ERAs in the 3s while the Orioles’ arms’ ERAs are close to a run higher overall, not to mention unsightly WHIPs and opposing batting averages.
Cleveland’s strength is its starting pitching and the back-end of its bullpen (headlined by Emmanuel Clase, Trevor Stephan, and James Karinchak) which should pose problems for a Baltimore offense that is in the bottom-third of the AL in many categories.
The Orioles are in the middle of the pack as a home run hitting team, and have an impressive eight players with 10+ more home runs; but the offense’s issue with getting on base limits the Baltimore Orioles odds to win World Series. The Guardians have the marked advantage here.
Baltimore’s Offense is More Balanced
As mentioned above, one of the more appealing attributes of the current Orioles roster is how balanced the offense is. Adley Rutschman, Anthony Santander, and Cedric Mullins are the clear leaders but, with so many guys producing right now, Baltimore has a useful lineup from top to bottom.
The opposite is true for the Guardians, who are so heavily dependent on José Ramírez, Josh Naylor, and Andrés Gimenez. Guys like Amed Rosario and Steven Kwan have been good at getting on base but, outside of the main three, Cleveland can struggle to push runs across.
No Orioles vs Guardians betting series preview would be complete without discussing how Cleveland is a streaky offensive team that scored just seven total runs in its recent series loss (in four games) to the Seattle Mariners. If Baltimore is going to pull off the (relative) road upset against Cleveland’s top pitchers, the Orioles will need production from most of their order.
If Orioles Can Build Leads, They’ll be Fine
The concern for Baltimore in this matchup is that the Orioles will be playing from behind a lot… due to Cleveland’s elite starting pitching… and they won’t be able to make up ground late in games against the Guardians’ dominant relief aces.
If Baltimore can get off to good starts, then the Orioles would be in a decent position. Even without Jorge Lopez, they have a bunch of shut-down relievers in Dillon Tate, Félix Bautista, and Cionel Peréz who have been close to perfect this season.
So, look for the Orioles vs Guardians betting series to potentially feature a bunch of close games that could be decided by whichever team is able to get a big late him. Cleveland certainly has the edge in the first six innings of each game, or so, but, overall, these teams are evenly matched. And, it’s a critical series for both in terms of the standings which should give the games a playoff feel at the end of August.Follow us on Twitter