|Orioles at Blue Jays Spread, Odds, Public Betting Trends & Matchup|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Saturday, 07 June 2008 19:00|
Halladay Takes Hill
The Baltimore Orioles are in position for their first three-game sweep at the Rogers Centre in more than three years. Completing the task won't be easy.
The Blue Jays' Roy Halladay will try to win his fifth consecutive start and continue his dominance over the Orioles on Sunday.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Toronto -222 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 86% of bets for this game have been placed on Toronto -222 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
Halladay (7-5, 2.94 ERA) has had little difficulty in his career when facing Baltimore, going 16-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 26 games, including 22 starts. The right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.54 ERA, recording 31 strikeouts and eight walks in eight starts against the Orioles after last losing to them in May 2005.
The 16 wins are the most Halladay's had against an opponent in his career, but the Orioles (31-30) aren't the only team to have trouble beating him recently. He's 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last four starts, including his league-high fifth complete game on May 23 versus Kansas City.
Against the Yankees on Tuesday, Halladay gave up two runs and six hits over six innings as Toronto (32-32) went on to a 9-3 win in New York.
"I felt like for the most part we were pretty good when we had to be," Halladay said. "It was one of those games where you were grinding all the time."
He will be opposed by Radhames Liz (1-0, 3.38), who recorded his first major league win in his season debut on Tuesday. The right-hander, who's replaced Steve Trachsel in the rotation, gave up two runs and four hits over 5 1-3 innings of a 5-3 win in Minnesota.
"I feel very excited. I came to throw the ball, and I was very focused and threw strikes," said Liz, who was 0-2 with a 6.93 ERA in nine games, including four starts, last year. "I want to be here and I want to stay here and I am very excited about it."
Baltimore hasn't had a three-game sweep in Toronto since April 22-24, 2005, but gave itself the chance to do so with a 9-5 victory on Saturday. Jay Payton matched a season high with five RBIs, and Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven strong innings to help the Orioles win for the fifth time in six games.
"We got key hits when we needed them," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "Payton gave us a big lift today. Offensively, it was probably one of our better showings of the season."
Toronto welcomed back outfielder Vernon Wells less than a month after breaking his wrist while making a diving catch. He came on as a defensive replacement in the second inning after Shannon Stewart went down with a sprained ankle, and was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly during the Blue Jays' four-run ninth inning.
"It was great to be back," said Wells, who's tied with Alex Rios for the team lead with 25 RBIs despite playing in 36 games. "Obviously, it didn't turn out like we wanted to but for the first day, everything checked out all right."
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