The battle for the American League took place this weekend and the Baltimore Orioles came out on top.
After taking three of four games from the Rays in Tampa, the Orioles lead the AL East by two games at 61-38, the best record in the AL.
Now, they’ll head up to Philadelphia for an interleague series with the 53-46 Phillies who were able to salvage the final game of their series with Cleveland yesterday, 8-5.
The Phillies will turn to Cristopher Sanchez to make his eighth start of the year and he enters with a 3.06 ERA and a record of 0-3. Sanchez will be opposed by Dean Kremer who has made 20 starts for Baltimore and is 10-4 despite a 4.80 ERA.
Baltimore may be the best team in the American League, but that’s not enough to make it a favorite in Philadelphia today.
The Phillies could catch the O’s flat footed today after the biggest series of their season.
Orioles vs. Phillies odds, run line and total
Orioles vs. Phillies prediction and pick
Cristopher Sanchez has been very good for the Phillies, but the Phils' offense just hasn’t given him much run support.
His ERA is very strong, but his team is only 3-4 when he takes the mound. I think soon, his ERA could start to rise and that record could get even worse because his FIP is up at 3.93.
Sanchez has allowed five home runs in his seven starts and allows a hard hit rate of 42.3% which is 27th percentile.
Sanchez doesn’t miss a lot of bats which is another concern, though his elite walk rate helps mitigate the effect of his lack of strikeouts and the home runs he’s allowed.
Regression will come for Sanchez at some point, but I don’t think it’ll be here today. The Orioles are 25th in team OPS against lefties since June 1 -- though they are No. 10 in the league for the entire season.
In my eyes the biggest reason to have some trepidation about betting on the Orioles today is the fact that they just made a huge statement against their division rivals this weekend.
They no doubt celebrated that series win, and human nature is to take your foot off the gas ever so slightly.
This is a great chance for the Phillies to strike and take the first game of this series. I’ll back Philadelphia as a slight favorite in this one.
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