Astros Look to Turn Tables on Blue Jays
When the Houston Astros visit the Toronto Blue Jays, could it be an American League title matchup preview? The Blue Jays (+850) have the best odds among American League teams to win the World Series while the Houston Astros’ odds to win the World Series is currently at +1100. The Astros vs Blue Jays betting analysis could feature more one-run affairs, much like the first series between the championship contenders this season.
Former Houston outfielder George Springer, in his second season with the Blue Jays, will once again be a headliner. Both of Springer’s hits in the first series of the season between the teams went for extra bases.
Toronto’s likely starters on Friday and Saturday are Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios, who have combined to walk 17 batters in 30.1 innings. Houston’s probable starting pitchers in the first two games (Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia) have ERAs of 5.52 and 4.60, so perhaps this will be a showcase for the hitters.
Team records: Houston Astros 10-9 (third in the NL West), Toronto Blue Jays 13-7 (second in the AL East)
Date: Friday, 7:07 p.m. ET (teams also play on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. and Sunday at 1:37 p.m.)
Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto
Astros vs Blue Jays Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Jose Urquidy (Astros) vs Yusei Kikuchi (Blue Jays)
Saturday: Luis Garcia (Astros) vs Jose Berrios (Blue Jays)
Sunday: Framber Valdez (Astros) vs Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays)
Astros’ Batting Order Bottoming Out
When the Houston Astros are battling for American League supremacy, getting contributions from all spots in the batting order is a key to their success.
Houston will be looking to return to that formula because that has not been the case at the start of the season. The Astros’ Nos. 7-9 hitters are batting .178 with 63 strikeouts and just 13 extra-base hits in 183 at-bats. That lack of production could have a role in the Astros vs Blue Jays betting analysis.
Some of that can be attributed to the injury to star infielder Jose Altuve that has forced a change in what the batting order was supposed to look like. It also hasn’t helped that Houston lost key offensive players, including Springer and Carlos Correa , to American League rivals in the last couple of seasons
The No. 2 hole is the only spot in the order that is consistently producing. The second hitters have a .291 batting average this season, with most of that damage being done by Michael Brantley. The leadoff hitters other than Altuve are 6-for-36 with 11 strikeouts.
Blue Jays Making Things Interesting
Toronto has been keeping the entertainment quotient rather high in the early stages of the season, as six of the Blue Jays’ last eight games have been decided by one run. Toronto has won five of the last six one-run affairs. If the game comes down to the final inning or two, the Houston Astros vs Toronto Blue Jays prediction could lean in Toronto’s favor.
Toronto is batting just .176 with runners in scoring position and .187 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
The numbers could be much worse if not for Vlad Guerrero Jr., who has a .308 batting average and nine RBIs in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
At the other end of the spectrum, the trio of Alejandro Kirk, Raimel Tapia and Bradley Zimmer were a combined 0-for-25 with runners in scoring position before Kirk came through with a two-out RBI single for the only run in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Boston.
Houston has probably already seen enough of Guerrero, who was 6-for-11 with two runs scored in a three-game series earlier this season. Toronto hit eight home runs in that series, including two by infielders Santiago Espinal. The Astros vs Blue Jays betting analysis could see more long balls for the Blue Jays.
Adam Cimber, Blue Jays P: Cimber has allowed two hits and no runs in four innings over his last four games.
Rafael Montero, Astros P: Montero has struck out 14 of the last 24 batters he has faced. Montero did allow his first earned run of the season in Thursday’s win over Texas.
George Springer, Blue Jays OF: Springer is hitting .400 with two runs and three RBIs over his last four games. He recently had three consecutive two-hit games.
Kyle Tucker, Astros OF: Tucker is batting .462 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last four games.
Matt Chapman, Blue Jays 3B: Chapman has two hits and eight strikeouts in his last 17 at-bats over his last five games.
Luis Garcia, Astros P: Garcia has allowed nine hits and eight runs in his last two starts. He does have 13 strikeouts and two walks in those two appearances.
Julian Merryweather, Blue Jays P: Merryweather allowed two hits and two runs in one inning in his most recent outing.
Jose Siri, Astros OF: Siri is 0-for-19 with 10 strikeouts in his last eight games as his average dropped from .429 to .182.
Perennial All-Star Altuve is sidelined with a left hamstring strain for Houston. Outfielder Jake Meyers (shoulder) could also return in early May while the wait time will be a little longer for corner infielder Taylor Jones (back discomfort) and pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm strain). Reliever Ryan Pressly could be nearing a return.
Slugging first baseman Guerrero is probable to return to the lineup, but Toronto will be without infielder Cavan Biggio (who is on the COVID-19 list), outfielder Teoscar Hernandez (oblique strain) and catcher Danny Jansen (oblique strain). Pitchers Ryan Borucki (finger), Nate Pearson (non-COVID illness) and Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm inflammation) won’t be available for the series.
Astros vs Blue Jays Betting Guide
Keep an eye on the status of Toronto’s Guerrero, who missed the last game with a right foot contusion. He is on track to return to the lineup. If that changes, that would certainly impact the odds that currently list Toronto as the favorite in Friday’s opener.
It seems to be an all-or-nothing approach for the Houston offense early in the season. The Astros are 28th in baseball with a .204 team batting average, but fifth with 21 home runs. No team has more homers than Toronto’s 26 and the Blue Jays rank fourth with 164 hits.
The total is set at 8½ runs, with six of the last matchups between the Astros and Blue Jays having at least nine combined runs scored.
This has been a pretty even series with neither team winning more than two games in a row since 2018.
Each of the three games between the teams played from April 22-24 were decided by one run, with visiting Toronto winning two of them. Before that, the previous 15 games between the Astros and Blue Jays were won by at least two runs.
The total has gone under in eight of Toronto’s last 11 games and in seven of Houston’s last eight contests. Time will tell if that trend continues between two of the top home run-hitting teams in baseball.Follow us on Twitter