This Weekend Top Series Preview features the Orioles visiting the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre

alek manoah toronto blue jays mlb pitcher
Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during game two of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP

The Baltimore Orioles will visit the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend in an important series that could dictate the American League Wild Card.

Which team could earn the series win? Let’s see what our expert handicappers have to say.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays Weekend Series: What You Should Know

The Baltimore Orioles are currently five games out of the final Wild Card spot in the American League.

In the AL Wild Card, the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, and Tampa Bay Rays are within .5 games of eachother. Then there’s the Orioles, who are five games out along with the White Sox who are 6.5 games out.

However, if the Orioles are able to win their next series against Toronto, Baltimore would be in a better position to steal a playoff spot in the American League.

A series win would get them four games out of the Wild Card but a series sweep would bring Baltimore within 2.5 games from a Wild Card spot.

This series is as important as ever for both teams. Let’s see how this series should play out between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Friday, September 16th – 07:07 PM EDT at Rogers Centre

Friday’s Probables

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays haven’t announced a starter for their game on Friday. It’s likely going to be Mitch White, but he’s struggled a little bit recently.

I just spoke about how important this series is. Therefore, the Blue Jays could end up going with a bullpen game instead. But if it is White, here’s some background.

White has a 4.96 xFIP over the last 30 days with high walks and high line drives. He’s not getting a high strikeout rate and has a high wOBA and ISO to both sides of the plate over the last month.

He’s also allowed 54.4% of hard contact in that same time frame. There’s good reason for the Blue Jays to second guess pitching him in this game against the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles

Meanwhile, Austin Voth will get the call for the Orioles. He has a 5.49 xFIP with low strikeouts, high walks, low ground balls and high line drives over the last 30 days.

However, Voth has kept his wOBA and ISO down against both sides of the plate. He’s escaping damage, but it’s hard to know how much longer that will last.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Saturday, September 17th – 03:07 PM EDT at Rogers Centre

Saturday’s Probables

Toronto Blue Jays

Saturday will feature Jose Berrios on the mound for the Blue Jays. Berrios has a 4.43 xFIP over the last 30 days with 19.2% of strikeouts. He’s also allowing nearly 21% of line drives and has given up a BABIP of .351 in those last 30 days.

Lefties have a wOBA of .351 against Berrios in their last 66 plate appearances against him but he’s been very good against righties over the last 30 days.

Baltimore Orioles

On the other hand, Jordan Lyles will get the start for Baltimore. He’ss got an xFIP of 5.94 with 10.5% of strikeouts. Lyles has kept walks down and is getting almost 45% of ground balls over the last month, however, his wOBA is high to both righties and lefties over that time frame.

He has, however, kept extra-base hits down and has limited line drives to about 20% in the last 30 days.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Sunday, September 18th – 01:37 PM EDT at Rogers Centre

Sunday’s Probables

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays will have Alek Manoah close out the series. He’s got a 4.28 xFIP over the last 30 days. He’s not going to get a heavy amount of grounders and has given up close to 21% of line drives.

However, he’s also struck out 25.6% of batters and has walked 7.5%. His BABIP is sitting at .212, meaning batters aren’t having much success when the ball is put in play against Manoah over the last month.

Manoah has also kept extra-base hits down against the opposition over the last 30 days.

Baltimore Orioles

Going up against Manoah will be Kyle Bradish of the Orioles. Bradish has a 4.99 xFIP with 19.6% of strikeouts over the last 30 days. However, he’s been able to earn 47.5% of ground balls and has limited line drives to 16.2% in that time frame.

Lefties haven’t hit an extra-base hit against him in 42 tries while righties also have a low wOBA and ISO against Bradish in the last 30 days.

The Offenses

Blue Jays Offensive

The Blue Jays will face three righties over the weekend. Against righties, Toronto is hitting a .125 ISO with a wOBA of .299. They’ve also struck out nearly 19% of the time and have earned 8.4% of walks.

But that’s not even the worst part. Toronto’s projected lineup has hit 50.9% of ground balls while only smacking 18.6% of line drives against righties over the last month.

Only Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette have been consistently hitting the ball well for the Blue Jays. The rest of the lineup has struggled badly against righties.

Orioles Offensive

On the other hand, the Orioles haven’t been much better offensively. Adley Rutschman and Cedric Mullins have hit righties consistently along with Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle.

But the team is rarely getting on base. They’ve also got plenty of batters striking out 20% of the time or more against righties.

The Blue Jays have the better pitching staff and should be able to escape the Orioles during the weekend series.

I’ve got the Blue Jays winning at least two of three at home.