Hellickson’s Dominance: Tampa Bay Travels to Baltimore – Betting Preview

Tampa Bay Rays (33-29) AT Baltimore Orioles (29-31)
June 10, 2011 at 7:05 PM EST
Opening Line:  TAM -145, BAL +125
Current Line:  TAM -125, BAL +104
Opening Total:  8.5
Current Total:  8.5

SP:  TAM- Jeremy Hellickson; BAL- Jake Arrieta

Hellickson has dominated the Orioles

Jeremy Hellickson has really arrived.  He’s looking to win his fourth consecutive start against the Orioles and the Rays have won 3 straight and 4 of 5 due to the strong pitching.  Their collective 1.95 ERA over the last four wins featured a Hellickson win in which he held Seattle to 1 run and 3 hits over 7 1/3rds innings of a 3-2 victory.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge expressed defeat on the topic.  “We were never able to get anything going against this kid (Hellickson is 24)…He had a good fastball.  He pitched, he located the ball and threw a good game.”

Over his last seven starts, Hellickson is 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA.  The Orioles have yet to score on Hellickson in the fourteen innings he pitched against them so far in 2011.  He had a four hitter against the Orioles on May 13th and his record over the series is 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA.

Hellickson spent years in the International League but he has been impressive since entering the bigs.  He had a four game audition in which he recorded a 2.05 ERA in 26.1 IP.  The Rays got rid of Matt Garza to clear the way for Hellickson, so hopes are high.  Baseball Prospectus predicts a 9-6 record with a 3.55 ERA.

Still, Hellickson will have his work cut out for him.  The Orioles just swept the As and they have won 9 of 11 at home.

The Orioles will send Jake Arrieta to the mound.  He is 7-3 with a 4.93 ERA.  He has received 7.14 runs support per nine innings.  He’ll face hitters that have had success against the Orioles before in Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria who have hit 5 homers between them.

Arrieta has a 93 mph fastball but has poor control over it and his off speed pitches are below average.  His walks outnumbered his strikeouts early last season, and he barely finished with more strikeouts than walks for the year (52 to 48).  He’s fared well against right handed batters, but lefties have torn him up, going for a .315 average.

Some betting trends:

Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 6 games.  It has also gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 on the road.  The Rays are 4-1 SU in their last 5 on the road and they are 4-2 SU in their last 6 against Baltimore.  The total has gone UNDER in 9 of their last 12 against Baltimore and the Rays are 10-3 SU in their last 13 on the road against the Orioles.

Baltimore is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games and 9-2 SU in their last 11 at home.  The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Baltimore’s last 12 games against Tampa Bay and they are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games against Tampa Bay.  The Orioles are 3-10 SU in their last 13 games at home against the Rays.

The Rays are favored because of Hellickson’s dominance and it would seem quite silly to bet on the Orioles when they haven’t scored on Hellickson in the last 14 innings.

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