The Los Angeles Angels have started the month of May with back-to-back wins over the Baltimore Orioles. The Halos will go for the sweep when they host the Orioles on Thursday night. The Los Angeles Angels are -190 over the Baltimore Orioles in MLB action on Thursday.
The Angels have used this series against the Orioles, one of the worst teams in baseball, to snap out of their late-April slump. Los Angeles was one of the best teams in baseball for the first half in April. However, the Angels went 3-9 during the second half of April, taking them out of the top spot in the AL West.
The Orioles, on the other hand, have spent the entire season at the bottom of the AL East. Baltimore is 8-22 on the season and already 14 games out of first place. If the Orioles can’t manage a win on Thursday, it would already be the fourth time this season they got swept in a three-game series.
Chris Tillman will take the mound for Baltimore Thursday night in hopes of helping the Orioles avoid the sweep. Just a few years ago, he was one of Baltimore’s most reliable and consistent pitchers. But that hasn’t been the case the past couple of seasons. Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA last year, but desperate for pitching, the Orioles re-signed him in late February. In five starts this season, Tillman is 1-4 with a 7.03 ERA, so not much has changed.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Tillman fired seven shutout innings in his last time out against the Tigers, giving up just one hit and earning his first win of the season. That could be a sign that he’s turning things around. He’ll also face an Angels lineup that has struggled over the past couple of weeks until scoring 10 runs against Baltimore on Wednesday night. Outside of Mike Trout, none of the team’s regulars are hitting over .250, providing Tillman and the Orioles with a glimmer of hope.
With Nick Tropeano going on the DL earlier this week, the Angels once again have to reach deep into their rotation depth for a starter. Thus, Thursday’s start will go to 21-year old Jaime Barria. The young Panamanian has started two games for the Angels this season. However, he got pulled in the third inning of his last start against the Giants, perhaps worn out by that now famous 21-pitch at-bat against Brandon Belt.
The good news is that he’ll face an Orioles lineup that’s one of the worst at scoring runs in the American League. Outside of Manny Machado, Trey Mancini, and the occasional home run from Pedro Alvarez, Baltimore is lacking hitters who have done a lot of damage this season. However, Barria doesn’t have overpowering stuff, so perhaps the Orioles can find a way knock the youngster out early.
With Barria coming up to make the start, this game isn’t ideal from a betting perspective. However, there is little reason to believe that Tillman can replicate the success of his last outing. The Angels have a little more support for Trout in their lineup that the Orioles have for Machado. If this game turns into a high-scoring affair, which seems likely, that’ll be the difference. Bet the Los Angeles Angels -190 over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.