Baltimore (Britton) -105 at Minnesota (Deduno) O/U 9.5
The Orioles and Twins are set for their second game of their series tonight in Target Field. The Orioles expect to send once highly touted prospect Zach Britton to the hill. Britton will be making his first start of the season, while returning from a sore shoulder in 2011. Britton is a perfect example of the lack of development from the Orioles’ prized pitching prospects. The southpaw was sailing along quite nicely last season with a wonderful 2.93 ERA in April and May. However, the pitching coaches meddled with a good thing. They mixed around with Britton’s mechanics which included moving him to the first base side of the rubber. Well, he was never the same pitcher, and as mentioned eventually was hurt. This spring and moving forward the young left-hander has evolved under the tutelage of pitching development coordinator Rick Peterson. They’ve got his mechanics revamped, while taking pressure of his shoulder, and his velocity is up. Keep in mind Britton is a rare sinker balling left-hander as the upside is high. In addition, that’s the exact profile we want to see against this Twins lineup in warmer weather. Meanwhile, the Twins will counter with their own young hurler in Samuel Deduno. He’ll join what seems an endless list of starting pitchers for the Twins this year. Deduno features a good arm, dealing around 90 mph with a curve and cutter. However, command is a major hurdle for the youngster and will create issues establishing him as a big league caliber starting pitcher. We’ll side with the Orioles and Britton tonight in Minnesota.