Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles Pro Baseball Picks & Predictions

The Baltimore Orioles get set to play their home opener on Monday after picking up a three-game road sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays to begin the season.

Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are a perfect 3-0 heading into their 2011 home opener

Detroit avoided being swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees by picking up a 10-7 victory on Sunday.  The Tigers offense has been doing its job despite only coming away with a single victory to open the season, scoring 19 total runs against the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium.  “You’ve got to give them credit,” said Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher.  “Those boys swung the bats good today.  We just ran out of innings.”  The team managed to win just 29 road games last year compared to dropping just 29 contests at Comerica Park in an 81-81 season.  Detroit is 68-57 during day games the past three years.

Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello is set to make his first start of the season after enjoying a solid spring and comes in off a 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his final start of the Grapefruit League.  “At this point, right now, I feel lie I’m repeating my mechanics better,” Porcello commented.  “Right now, I feel really good.”  The right-hander has posted a 9-13 overall record and 4.79 ERA in 28 career road starts, allowing batters to hit for a .291 average.  He will need to improve upon his April numbers to keep his team competitive on Monday, bringing in a 3-5 record and 7.19 ERA in nine career starts in the opening month.

Baltimore has a chance to open a season 4-0 for the first time since 1997, having completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.  “We’ve been playing great baseball,” rookie starting pitcher Zach Britton stated.  “I think this is what everyone expected.  Hopefully we can carry this into the next series.”  The Orioles will need to do a lot more before experts start jumping on the bandwagon, especially due to the franchise’s 13 straight seasons of sub-.500 records.  Baltimore is 77-86 at home the past two-plus years.

Orioles starting pitcher Jake Arrieta was a bit surprised when manager Buck Showalter told him that he would be getting the ball on Monday, but that surprise quickly turned into excitement.  The family of Arrieta’s wife will be at the park for support and he feels like he’s in a good place.  “I’m pretty locked in,” he commented.  “Now we’re here after a good spring training and it’s time to play some real baseball.”  The second year starter compiled a 6-6 record and 4.66 ERA in 18 starts during his rookie season, which includes a perfect 2-0 record and 2.60 ERA in three September starts to finish off the season.  He produced a dismal 1-3 mark and 6.52 ERA in four daytime starts last year.

Bettors will be interested in backing the Orioles due to their 6-1 record as a favorite, while the Tigers are 5-13 in Porcello’s last 18 road starts.

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