Today marks the start of a new era for the Baltimore Orioles.
After missing a chance to make his Major League debut last season due to a lat strain, top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez finally gets the call today when Baltimore takes on Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers are -180 favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Orioles are +155 underdogs. The total sits at 7.5.
Orioles-Rangers picks: Wednesday, April 5th
Day to day: INF Gunnar Henderson (hand)
Out: SP Kyle Bradish (right foot contusion), C James McCann (left oblique strain), RP Mychal Givens (left knee), RP Dillon Tate (right elbow flexor), SP John Means (Tommy John)
Day to day: UTIL Josh Smith (facial injury)
Out: OF Leody Taveras (left oblique strain), SP/RPSpencer Howard (right shoulder), SP Jake Odorizzi (right shoulder), RP Glenn Otto (right shoulder), RP Brett Martin (right shoulder)
Grayson Rodriguez vs. Jacob deGrom
Today’s debut is a long time coming for Rodriguez, who was a first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. He had a 2.20 ERA in his 14 Triple-A starts last year to go along with 97 strikeouts. He features a plus fastball, changeup and slider, and will also throw a curveball on occasion.
deGrom is coming off a rocky start to his Rangers tenure, as he gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings on Opening Day against the Phillies. While deGrom was still able to rack up seven strikeouts, the righty allowed three extra-base hits on his slider, which was a first for him. He has a 1.23 ERA in 14 career innings against Baltimore.
I’m taking the over here just because of the unknowns, as Baltimore’s Adam Frazier is the only player on either team who has any experience against the opposing starter (he’s 3-for-8 against deGrom in his career). While I don’t expect deGrom to get rocked like he did on Opening Day, Baltimore’s offense is legit (MLB leading .913 OPS) and should tag him for a couple runs. That said, the Rangers know how to handle the bats too (.766 OPS) and could very well end up ruining Rodriguez’s MLB debut.
Pick: Over 7.5
While the Rangers may have the more established starter, the Orioles are a more complete team, and are coming off a strong win over the Rangers yesterday in which they were able to preserve most of their bullpen. That’ll be important if today’s game becomes a slugfest.