MLB Baseball Betting: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays

MLB Baseball Betting:  Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Well look who is back in first place–at least until Friday gametime. The Toronto Blue Jays are atop the AL East with a whopping 1/2 game lead over the second place Baltimore Orioles. The third place Boston Red Sox are 3 games back while the fourth place New York Yankees are just 6.5 games out. The Jays will open a weekend series against the Houston Astros at the Rogers Centre on Friday and obviously it’s important to keep winning. The Astros are in third place in the AL West one game back of the red hot Seattle Mariners (won 6 straight and 8 of 10) and 7.5 games back of the division leading Texas Rangers. Houston is just 4-6 in their last 10 but they’ve won 3 straight.

Houston will start 23 year old Joe Musgrove who could be an absolute monster very quickly. He started in the bullpen and was flat out dominating. He’s started one game–8/7 against Texas and was beastly in going 7 innings allowing 5 hits, 1 ER and 6 strikeouts with no walks. He deserved the win but his team blew the game for him–Houston lost 5-3 though Musgrove got a ‘no decision’. Our concern is that the Musgrove hype could be getting ahead of the reality. This will be a big test for him on the road against a team that hits right handers very well (5.2 runs per game). The Jays are 49-32 +8.2 units against right handers this year.

Francisco Liriano tries to get his career back on track as he makes his second start for Toronto. His first start was encouraging–6 innings pitched with 2 earned runs. His YTD stats are ugly but that’s why Pittsburgh traded him in the first place. Lefthanders changing leagues has long been a situation favored by ‘wise guys’ and Houston could be the perfect opponent. They’re 16-20 -9.4 units against southpaws this season hitting .228 and averaging just 3.9 runs per game. They’ve also lost money on the road this year going 25-29 -7.8 units.

Musgrove could very well be a future ace but at this point the hype gives us a very reasonable price on the home team. Liriano’s YTD body of work will be ignored for now and he could have a big outing against a team that hits left handers poorly.


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