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Baltimore At Toronto, Division Rivals Collide

The American League East is a close race at the moment with three teams battling for the top spot. The top two teams are the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. Tonight a key series between the two teams kicks off. At this moment the series is tied at five games apiece.

The Orioles lead the AL East with the Blue Jays four games behind. The New York Yankees are hot on the heels of the Blue Jays, which means if Toronto slips in this series, they could fall into third place.

The Orioles will be trying to start that fall with Bud Norris pitching. The right-hander in his last outing pitched for seven innings, keeping the Los Angeles Angels scoreless. The game ended up going into 13 innings where the Angels to the victory. He struck out four in the game and allowed eight hits.

Norris is 8-7 on the season with a 3.69 ERA, however, he is hot when pitching against his team’s rivals in blue. He has a 1.83 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays this season. Norris has struggled when pitching away from home, though. He has gone 4-5 with a 4.66 ERA on the road.

The Blue Jays will be sending Mark Buehrle to the mound to counter Norris. Buehrle has struggled as of late. His last win was on June 1 until he picked himself up a win in his last outing with a quality starts over 6 2/3 innings. That was against the Boston Red Sox. He allowed just one run on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts in that game.

Buehrl is 11-7 on the season with a 3.11 ERA overall. Buehrl will be attempting to break a Blue Jays three-game losing streak.

The real x-factor in this series will be the Blue Jays health. They will be coming into this game hobbled with many of their starting lineup on the disabled list. Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion will be out for this game. There is some good new for Toronto in that Brett Lawrie will be returning for this opener.

Over at the sportsbooks the Blue Jays are the favorites to win with a -107 moneyline. Not far behind are the Orioles with a -103 moneyline. The first pitch is scheduled for around 7 p.m.



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