St. Louis Cardinals vs Baltimore Orioles Picks and Predictions May 20th 2024

St. Louis Cardinals vs Baltimore Orioles MLB Mon, May 20, 19:45 pm.
St. Louis Cardinals
ML: -125
Baltimore Orioles
ML: 105

Cardinals’ Sonny Gray Looks for Crucial Turnaround vs. Orioles

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Sonny Gray started the season with a bang, boasting an impressive 0.89 ERA through his first five starts. But lately, things have taken a downturn, with Gray allowing 11 runs on 15 hits over just 11 innings in his recent outings. As the Cardinals gear up for a three-game home series against the Baltimore Orioles, Gray is eyeing a much-needed turnaround.

Sonny Gray’s Season Performance

Gray kicked off the season on a high note, quickly becoming a standout in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. His early success showcased his potential to anchor the pitching staff. However, his recent slump has raised some eyebrows, making his upcoming game against the Orioles a pivotal moment.

The Importance of Monday’s Game

The Cardinals are coming off a rough 11-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, which left their bullpen drained. Relievers Chris Roycroft, Ryan Fernandez, and Nick Robertson had to cover six innings after starter Matthew Liberatore struggled, managing to retire just nine batters. This has put extra pressure on Gray to deliver a strong performance and give the bullpen some much-needed rest.

Cardinals Manager Oliver Marmol’s Concerns: “It does complicate things for the ‘pen a little bit because you end up overextending guys,” said Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol. “You’re asking them to do more than they need to do. They are out there for extra outs and extra innings. It puts them in a tough spot for that game and for the following days as well. It is tough. I don’t have a great answer for you.”

Gray’s Last Start Against the Angels

In his last outing, Gray faced the Los Angeles Angels and allowed five runs over six innings. Despite the rough numbers, he showcased his grit by escaping a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, striking out Nolan Schanuel. This moment highlighted Gray’s ability to perform under pressure, even when his overall performance was shaky.

Gray’s Reflection: “Just get one guy and give ourselves a chance,” Gray said. “Pitching to win the game. That was where I went to. No matter what has happened, you’re not going to be overall thrilled with this outing in general. You talk about pitching to win the game. This is a moment where you can let all this other stuff go behind you and just pitch to win the game right here where you are in this moment.”

Cardinals’ Recent Performance

Before their loss to the Red Sox, the Cardinals had won five of their last six games, positioning themselves well in the standings. Keeping this momentum is crucial, especially given the bullpen’s recent workload. Gray’s performance could be the key to sustaining the team’s success.

Preview of the Baltimore Orioles Matchup

The Orioles are on a high, having won three of their last four games, including a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. They’ll be starting Dean Kremer (3-3, 3.72 ERA) against the Cardinals. Kremer’s recent outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks ended in a 9-2 loss, despite his impressive 10 strikeouts.

Dean Kremer’s Perspective: “I’d say it’s definitely come a long way, being able to not just throw it arm side but also glove side and feel comfortable to front hip lefties with it,” Kremer said about his sinker. “A step in the right direction.”

Kremer allowed six runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. Prior to that, he had a streak of three consecutive wins, allowing just four runs in 18 1/3 innings.

Historical Context

Gray has a 6-6 record with a 4.58 ERA in 14 career starts against the Orioles. Meanwhile, Kremer’s only career start against the Cardinals saw him give up five runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings in an 11-5 win on September 11, 2023, though he did not factor into the decision.

Key Points for Gray’s Turnaround

  1. Consistency: Gray needs to return to the form he displayed at the beginning of the season.
  2. Bullpen Support: By going deeper into the game, Gray can help reduce the bullpen’s workload.
  3. Pressure Handling: Building on his ability to pitch under high-pressure situations, as shown in his performance against the Angels.

Gray’s upcoming start against the Orioles is not just another game; it’s a chance for him to prove that his early-season success was no fluke and that he can be a reliable ace for the Cardinals. All eyes will be on him as he takes the mound, hoping to lead his team to victory and solidify their standing in the league.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sun, May 19, 18:35 pm.
St. Louis Cardinals
O 8
Baltimore Orioles
U 8
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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