The Astros and Blue Jays have split the first two games in this series. In game one, the Astros had seven hits, and six earned runs, including a grand slam by Corey Julks before recording their second out of the game. It was another poor pitching performance from Alex Manoah, as he was sent to Rookie Level ball after the game. It was a shocking move, as that is the lowest level of the minor league system. The Blue Jays would bounce back though. Kevin Gausman would strike out 19 batters as George Springer, Bo Bichette, and Daulton Varsho all hit home runs to give the Blue Jays a 5-1 victory.
Here are the Astros-Blue Jays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Astros-Blue Jays Odds
Houston Astros: +1.5 (-146)
Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (+122)
Over: 9.5 (-105)
Under: 9.5 (-115)
How To Watch Astros vs. Blue Jays
Time: 7:07 PM ET/ 4:07 PMPT
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Why The Astros Could Cover The Spread
The Astros' offense is solid, but nothing special this year. They are 13th in runs scored, with a 17th-ranked batting average and slugging percentage. The Astros sit 18th in baseball in on-base percentage. They still have some major bright spots on offense though, and that starts with Yordan Alvarez. He is the major league leader in RBIs this year with 53 of them while being tied for 6th in home runs at 16. His bat has not been quite as hot as of late, but he is still driving in runs. So far this month he is hitting just .238. He is getting on base at a .360 clip, and he has driven in five runs with the help of two long balls.
Kyle Tucker has been hot for the Astros as of late, adding to the offense. In five games this month, Tucker is hitting .400, with a stolen base and three runs batted in. Most impressively, Tucker has scored four times in just five games this month. The hottest bat of the month belongs to Yainer Diaz though. While he has just played in three games so far this month, he is seven for 12 with three runs, three doubles, a home run, and two RBIs.
The Astros are sending Ronel Blanco to start this game. Blanco got his first start of the year last Thursday, as he went 5.1 innings. In that time he gave up seven hits, three walks, and two earned runs. Allowing too many men base has been a theme for Blanco this year. On the season he has a WHIP of 1.90 in his 17.1 innings of work.
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
The Blue Jays put out the better offense in this matchup. They are third in the majors in batting average, while sitting fourth in on-base percentage. The Blue Jays are ninth in the majors in runs scored, primarily because they have struggled to hit with runners in scoring position. This year, Toronto sits 22nd in the majors in batting average with runners in scoring position.
Not everyone has been bad in those situations though. Bo Bichette has been solid. He is hitting .346 with runners in scoring position, leading to him driving in 29 runs in those situations. Bichette is in the top twenty in RBIs, home runs, and OPS this year, while boasting the second-best batting average in all of the majors. He has not cooled off as the calendar turned to June either. In the six games of June, he is hitting .320 with three RBIs and two home runs.
Also hitting well in those RISP situations is Valdimir Guerrero Jr. He is hitting .322 with runners in scoring position so far this year, with 30 RBIs. Vlad has not shown the same power as some previous years, only having nine long balls on the year, but he is still tied for 25th with 38 RBIS. Three of those have come in his last four games.
Chris Bassitt will be the Blue Jays starter today. He is 6-4 on the season with a 3.41 ERA. Since a rough start to the year, Bassitt has been mostly solid. His ERA since the start of May is 1.98. Last time out, he went 7.2 innings giving up just three hits while striking out eight. He did not give up a run, and it was the fourth time in his last six starts he went seven or more innings without giving up a run.
Final Astros-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick
The Blue Jays send the better pitcher to the mound, and he is backed by the better offense. Blanco is making just his second start of the year and is allowing too many men to reach base. This will be big for players like Bichette and Guerrero Jr., as they will capitalize. The Blue Jays get to the starter early and open up a big lead. The Astros cannot come back and fall in this game.
Final Astros-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 (+122)