Orioles vs Guardians Picks and Predictions: Baltimore Cools Off on Lake Erie

Baltimore's been one of baseball's hottest teams but Cleveland's doing its best to cool the O's down. The Guardians took the series opener last night and with Triston McKenzie on the mound today, our picks expect the Orioles to fall again.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Aug 31, 2022 • 13:07 ET • 4 min read
Triston McKenzie Cleveland Guardians MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Guardians face off in the second game of a three-game set at Progressive Field on Wednesday evening. The Guardians beat the O's 5-1 last night and look to increase their lead atop the AL Central.

Cleveland opened as a -160 MLB betting favorite for this contest but don't count out Baltimore, who has been the most profitable team to bet on in the majors and has a 53-56 record as an underdog.

Here are our best free Orioles vs. Guardians MLB picks and predictions for August 31. 

Orioles vs Guardians best odds

Orioles vs Guardians picks and predictions

My best bet: Triston McKenzie Under 2.5 earned runs (-110 at DraftKings)

Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie has allowed fewer than three earned runs in 15 of 23 starts this year and he performs at his best at pitcher-friendly Progressive Field, where he has a 2.78 ERA with a .185 OBA. 

He has been even better lately, with a 2.14 ERA in 10 starts since the beginning of July.

The Orioles rank 20th in the majors in runs per game through the first six innings (2.79), with that number dropping to 2.54 away from home.

They also aren't disciplined at the plate and have a lineup littered with flyball hitters, which provides hidden betting value on a flyball pitcher like McKenzie who makes batters miss.

Take the Under 2.5 earned runs allowed for McKenzie today. 

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Orioles vs Guardians betting preview

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Side analysis Over/Under analysis Starting pitchers Injuries Weather Trend to know

Spread analysis

The Orioles were held to just one hit last night but they still have a solid .718 OPS with a 16-10 record this month. The Orioles have been one of baseball's biggest surprises over the last couple of months and are just three games behind the Blue Jays for the final Wild Card berth. 

That said, the Guardians have also exceeded expectations and have a 1.5-game lead on the Twins at the top of the AL Central. The Guardians have struggled at the dish with an OPS of .695 but they rarely strike out and do a good job of making contact.

They'll find it easier to drive the ball today against Baltimore starter Jordan Lyles, who has an ERA of 4.45 with an expected ERA of 4.77 in 26 starts. Lyles is in the bottom 15th percentile of pitchers when it comes to expected slugging percentage and barrel rate. 

The Guardians respond with young right-hander Triston McKenzie, who boasts an impressive 2.14 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP in his last 10 starts.

With a significant difference in starting pitching, it's easy to see why the home side has moved from a -160 favorite to -175 chalk. 

Over/Under analysis

Strong trends toward the Under are at play for both sides in this one.

The Under is 16-4-1 in the Guardians' last 21 games while cashing in six straight contests for the Orioles. The O/U is also 4-11 in the last 15 meetings between these clubs at pitcher-friendly Progressive Field.  

Both teams have struggled at the plate lately, with the Orioles 23rd in the majors in OPS (.643) over the last 15 days and the Guardians 25th (.633).

Add in a pair of strong bullpens, with Guardians relievers pitching to a 3.15 ERA and Orioles only slightly worse at 3.17, and the Under looks like the play here. 

Orioles vs Guardians game info

Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2022
First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
TV: MASN, Bally Sports Great Lakes

Starting pitchers

Jordan Lyles (9-9, 4.45 ERA): Except for a strong half-season for the Brewers in 2019, the 31-year-old Lyles has been a mediocre starter in his MLB career. He has a 1.46 WHIP with an OBA of .287 in 26 starts this season. Although he's coming off a solid performance where he limited the White Sox to two runs (one earned) across seven innings he also gave up nine hits and struck out just two batters in that contest. 

Triston McKenzie (9-10, 3.17 ERA): The lanky 25-year-old has pitched to an impressive 0.95 WHIP with an OBA of .198 in 147 2-3 innings this year. He struggled with his control as a rookie last season but has sharply reduced his walk rate and although he was hit hard in June he seems to have settled down. 

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 16-4-1 in Cleveland's last 21 games with the total set between 7.0 and 8.5. Find more MLB betting trends for Orioles vs. Guardians

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