I backed the O's in that first series at Tropicana Field and they came through like a charm resulting in the Baltimore sweep and the 4-0 start to the season. Certainly things have changed since as Joe Maddon's squad has really picked it up after their 0-6 skid out of the gate unlike Buck Showalter's who have come back down to Earth with the sub .500 record but Baltimore has a quality lineup and to get a hefty takeback here against what is still a fairly mediocre Tampa squad is of value. Crawford and Pena are gone and even with Longoria back this Tampa team is nothing more than good, they're just not.
Jeremy Guthrie doesn't have the upside of Jeremy Hellickson but the Oriole right-hander has been around the block and was very good to begin the season including that start at the Trop. No doubt Guthrie was rocked in that last outing by these same Rays at Camden Yards but adjustments will be made and I think the veteran will be alright today back in the dome.
I definitely like Hellickson and his high upside and don't have many negative thoughts about the right-hander. But it's not like the guy is an elite hurler just yet and to get Buck's batters consisting of Roberts, Markakis, Jones, Wieters, Lee and Guerrero plus such a price is too good to fully pass up.
This game is just the epitome of how to win gambling on baseball. Yes they are at home and probably have the overall superior squad. But on this day there is every way in the world that the boys from Baltimore can win the game and I'll take my chances on what is probably the more potent lineup plus a number that is a bit overinflated.
Top expert pick on this game: Baltimore Orioles from Matt Rivers
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