Blue Jays open second half as home favourites vs. Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio. (Fred Thornhill/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays will return to action on Friday following this week’s All-Star break as they take on the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game weekend series as -142 favourites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto stumbled into its four-day layoff after posting just two wins in a recent six-game road trip, capped by Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Boston as a +133 underdog, and has failed to tally consecutive wins during the 4-9 run that the club takes into Friday night’s Orioles versus Blue Jays betting matchup at Rogers Centre.

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While the Blue Jays have been held to just two runs in each of their past two outings, the club’s offence has produced at times during their recent slump, scoring five or more times in six of their past 11. However, Toronto has also regularly surrendered big run totals, giving up 6.6 runs per game over its past five outings.

As a result, the Blue Jays enter the unofficial second half of the campaign well outside the playoff picture, 23.5 games back of the first-place Red Sox with a 43-52 record, and sporting distant +250000 odds to win the World Series.

However, a visit from the Orioles could give the Blue Jays the opportunity to get back on track. The Orioles will be without Manny Machado when they arrive in Toronto for Friday’s contest as +122 underdogs. The four-time all-star shortstop was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for five prospects on Wednesday, leaving a massive hole in a Baltimore lineup that ranks 31st in the majors in team offence.

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

Machado heads west after hitting 24 home runs during the first half of the campaign, while also accounting for almost one out of every seven runs scored by the Orioles this season. The Orioles sit in a virtual tie with the Kansas City Royals for the worst record in the majors, and have lost seven straight on the road, where they now own an MLB-worst 12-36 record.

The Orioles have also been dominated in recent dates with Toronto. The Blue Jays swept Baltimore in a four-game set at Rogers Centre in early June, and are 8-2 in their past 10 dates according to the OddsShark MLB Database.

However, the Orioles showed some signs of life in their final two games before this week’s All-Star Break, closing out a three-game set at home against Texas with a pair of victories, putting the brakes on a dismal 3-17 run with their first consecutive wins since June 23.

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