Houston Astros vs Baltimore Orioles Picks and Predictions June 22nd 2024

Houston Astros vs Baltimore Orioles MLB Sat, Jun 22, 16:10 pm.
Houston Astros
ML: 130
5
1
Baltimore Orioles
ML: -155
-

Astros’ Ronel Blanco Hopes to Avoid Pitching Staff Jinx vs. Orioles

The Houston Astros‘ pitching-rotating door continues. Right-hander Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut on Friday, is the latest Astros pitcher with injury concerns. The 22-year-old was filling in for veteran right-hander Justin Verlander, who arrived on the harmed list Tuesday with neck distress.

Injury Concerns and Pitching Woes

When Bloss departed with two outs in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles, his first start with Houston was cut short by right shoulder discomfort, marking the latest blow for an injury-ravaged rotation. The Houston staff continues to hang on by a thread, as evidenced by the Astros’ 14-11 home win in the opener of a three-game series that continues Saturday.

“We have to fight through it. We’ve got to find a way,” Astros manager said. “That next man up (mentality), here you go, it’s your turn to give us some valuable innings. I don’t like taking those trips (to the mound to remove an injured pitcher) and I don’t like any of our pitchers getting hurt. But that’s where we’re at and we need to continue to fight through this.”

Joe Espada

Verlander is on the injured list for the second time this season. The Astros have lost starters Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy to season-ending elbow surgeries. Left-hander Framber Valdez made a trip to the IL in the opening month. When Bloss departed early, it set off a chain reaction that resulted in Espada using high-leverage relievers Tayler Scott and Bryan Abreu to seal the win.

Abreu pitched for a third consecutive game. Scott recorded five crucial outs on Thursday in a win over the Chicago White Sox. Both likely will be unavailable on Saturday.

“Obviously, I was trying to stay away from them,” Espada said. “We needed to win that game. All hands on deck.”

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Ronel Blanco Takes the Mound

Right-hander Ronel Blanco (7-2, 2.43 Period) is the booked starter for Houston on Saturday. He played with his second no-hitter of the time on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, throwing seven hitless, scoreless innings with eight strikeouts prior to giving the ball to the warm up area in a 4-1 win. He is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.69 earned run average and 16 strikeouts after losing in May and June.

Blanco is tied for first in the majors in opponent batting average (.164) and he is fourth in the American League in ERA. He will be making his first career start against the Orioles.

Corbin Burnes for the Orioles

American League ERA leader Corbin Burnes (8-2, 2.14 ERA) has the starting nod for the Orioles. The right-hander earned his fifth consecutive winning decision after allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over six innings in an 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Burnes is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERAin two profession appearances (one beginning) against the Astros. On May 22, 2023, he pitched five innings and gave up five runs on seven hits, including a career-high four home runs, two walks, and five strikeouts in a 12-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Strategic Moves and Team Resilience

Despite the loss, the Orioles’ seven-run eighth inning could have ramifications for the rest of the series. The Astros didn’t want to pitch Abreu in a game they once led 14-3.

“Small victories,” Orioles manager said. “We made them use a guy (Abreu) three days in a row … up 11 at one point. Proud of our guys for fighting back the way they did.”

Brandon Hyde

Conclusion

As the Astros continue to battle injuries and rely on their “next man up” mentality, Ronel Blanco will take the mound aiming to extend his strong recent form. Meanwhile, Corbin Burnes will look to maintain his dominance for the Orioles. Both teams will be closely monitoring their bullpens and player performances, making this matchup a critical test for the depth and resilience of each squad.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sat, Jun 22, 05:15 am.
spread
moneyline
over/under
Houston Astros
+1.5
-130
130
O 8
100
Baltimore Orioles
-1.5
105
-155
U 8
-120
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