MLB Picks: Blue Jays at Oakland

The Jays have a 3-12 record in their past 15 series openers away from home


The Toronto Blue Jays embark on a 10-game west coast road swing Monday and it starts with three-game series vs. the Oakland A’s.


[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]oronto was mired in a six-game losing streak since the All-Star break but managed to break out of the funk by taking three of four against the Houston Astros over the weekend. The Jays are 14 games back from Boston in the tough AL East standings and just 20-28 away from Rogers Centre this season so a 5-5 record for this tour would be considered an accomplishment but Blue Jay bettors are not holding their breath.


Esmil Rogers (3-4, 3.74 ERA) will start Monday against AJ Griffin (9-7, 3.84 ERA) and the latest line with one sports betting shop favors Oakland -163 and 7.5 Under (-106). Rogers started the campaign out of the bullpen and took a no decision in his first start May 29. Toronto ended up winning the right-hander’s first four starts but he’s been unable to come away with a victory since June 18. His last two road starts in Boston and Cleveland were solid performances with just one earned run allowed through 12 innings and given Toronto’s inconsistency away from home, the Jays will need another strong performance tonight for any chance at a victory.


[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]In the first game of a series the Blue Jays are 11-24-2 O/U since July 30, 2004 on the road vs. a team that’s won at least their last three games[/quote_text]


Oakland lost two-straight following the All-Star break but they are 6-2 ever since including three-straight wins vs. the Los Angeles Angels. Oakland also won 4-3 in Griffin’s last start and the A’s are 10-0 this year as a favorite following a one-run win in their pitcher’s most recent outing. This chart from illustrates that run of success:


t:team=Athletics and season=2013 and F and s:margin=1


You’ll also note that five of the past six games in this profile stayed under the total and in Griffin’s 18 career home starts the A’s have a sparkling 15-3 record, limiting the opposition to an average 2.8 runs per game. This year the A’s have a record of 3 overs and 6 unders when Griffin starts at home and just one of the past six games made it over the seven-run plateau.


In recent home starts Griffin shutdown Boston, Cincinnati and Seattle through the first five innings and when Toronto starts a series on the road this season the bats are usually quiet. In Toronto’s 2013 series openers away from home they are 1-9 with a meek scoring average of 3.1 RPG. Here is an SDQL baseball link with that sample:


t:team=Blue Jays and A and season=2013


Neither one of these lineups have shown great success against the opposing pitcher and the value for this game may be through the first half, before the power hitters have a chance to get their timing down. Sports Interaction has solid first-half numbers and we’ll use their MLB odds for the first pick of the week.

Pick: Take the Jays and A’s Under 4 runs (-115) in the first 5 innings


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