Cleveland Indians (56-39) vs. Baltimore Orioles (55-40), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
Josh Tomlin (10-2, 3.34) vs. Kevin Gausman (1-7, 4.05)
Keys to the Game:
Can the Orioles take their second straight series from Cleveland? They won two of three in Cleveland in late May.
Can Gausman get his elusive second win? Gausman has one just one of 16 starts.
News and Notes:
The Orioles regained first place on Friday night. They lead Boston by a half-game in the AL East.
Gausman has faced the Indians only once. He won in Cleveland on Aug. 17, 2014, and that's the last time he won a game on the road.
Tomlin has not faced the Orioles in four years--since July 22, 2012.
Tomlin is 2-0 with an 8.18 ERA in two starts at Oriole Park.
Adam Jones is 8-for-15 (.533) with a home run off Tomlin.
Joe Flacco has been a Super Bowl MVP and has won 10 playoff games. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have played one NFL season.
However, all three of those quarterbacks have been given the same odds (100/1) of winning next season’s MVP award by sportsbook Bovada.lv.
People who think Flacco is an elite quarterback may view that as disrespect. But the Bovada.lv odds throw even more shade at Flacco.
Sixteen quarterbacks are given a better chance of winning the MVP award in 2016 than Flacco. Some of the names you would expect, like Aaron Rodgers, who is the favorite at 4/1, followed by Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1), and Tom Brady (9/1).
But do Blake Bortles (66/1) of the Jaguars or Brock Osweiler of the Texans (66/1) really have a better chance of winning the MVP than Flacco? According to Bovada.lv they do. That’s also an indication that not much is expected from the Ravens overall after their 5-11 season. The better your team does, the better your chances of winning the MVP.
Newton won the MVP last year starting at 50/1 odds. So if you believe in Flacco and the Ravens, those 100/1 MVP odds for Flacco may look like an enticing play.
As we countdown to training camp, Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka will take turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope this month.
They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day. They’ll begin with players looking to carve out a role, or a roster spot. They’ll end with the Ravens’ most important players, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.
RELATED: DUMERVIL DESPERATE TO GET A RING
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Elvis Dumervil, 32-year-old linebacker
Dumervil is among the NFL’s sack leaders and spearheads a rebirth of the Ravens’ pass rush.
Why it could happen:
Dumervil equaled his career high with 17 sacks as recently as 2014. He keeps himself in great shape, and says he feels great after offseason foot surgery. If Terrell Suggs returns healthy, Dumervil won’t have to face as many double-teams, or play as many snaps. Dumervil looks at last season’s results as unacceptable – just six sacks for him, and just five wins for the Ravens. He’s motivated to double both totals – at least.
Dumervil is no longer an elite pass rusher
Why it could happen:
Dumervil entered the league in 2006, and at some point the wear and tear will start to show. If young pass rushers like Za’Darius Smith, Kamalei Correa, and Branson Kaufusi are effective, Dumervil could see his role diminish as the season wears on.