Monday's Best Bet
June 19, 2017
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Monday MLB Betting Preview
Toronto vs. Texas
Sportsbook.ag Odds: Toronto (-116), Texas (+106); Total set at 10.5
After an absolute brutal start to the 2017 season, the Toronto Blue Jays used a good month of May to scratch their way back near the .500 mark. However, since then, the Jays have been consistently inconsistent and dropping two of three at home to the White Sox exemplified that.
Toronto has done so much to get back to a 33-35 SU record, but seemingly every time they get close to .500, they slip up once again.
Tonight they begin a four-game set with an old rival in the Texas Rangers and you know that Toronto would love to leave town on Thursday night above that .500 mark.
Odds per - Sportsbook.ag
Best Bet: Under 10.5 Runs
Toronto and Texas have developed quite a rivalry after meeting in the playoffs the past two seasons and the bad blood tends to spill out in their regular season matchups as well. We all know about the Odor-Bautista fight during last year's regular season, but in the three-game set in Toronto earlier this year, things seemed to calm down in that regard.
All three-games were tight contests decided by two runs or less and Toronto was able to take two of the three games. Going back to last year's sweep of Texas in the ALDS, that makes it five out of six for Toronto against this Rangers team. VegasInsider.com shows that the home underdogs from Texas are receiving the bulk of the support tonight, but I'd be a little weary of backing a “public” underdog in a spot like this.
Instead, I'm looking towards the total, and after both teams played two of their three weekend games 'over' the number, I'm expecting another tight game between these two with minimal runs tonight.
Toronto sends Marco Estrada to the hill tonight and while many will want to focus on some rough outings he's had of late, I believe his strong history vs the Rangers will show up this evening. Estrada hasn't gotten out of the 4th inning in two of his last three starts (8-1 and 12-2 defeats), but that recent form actually presents a bit of line value on this 'under' tonight in a matchup where he will definitely feel comfortable.
It was two years ago when Estrada was called upon to save Toronto's season in the ALDS and he came up with a great performance in that game in a 5-1 Toronto win. Last year, Estrada had great outings against the Rangers in two of his three starts against them – including another one in the playoffs – and followed that up with a 3-1 win over Texas earlier this year. In six starts against Texas since joining the Jays, Estrada has allowed only one run in five of those six outings and overall the total has gone 2-4 O/U.
One of those 'overs' came in last year's playoff game because the Jays put up 10 runs in a 10-1 win, but the Jays offense is still inconsistent as ever this season as they've never been able to fully find a rhythm having so many injuries. If Estrada is up to his usual tricks against the Rangers, an outing of 6+ innings and two runs or less allowed should be in the cards.
Texas counters with Austin Bibens-Dirkx and the young righty is coming off a great outing of three-hit, one-run ball over seven innings against a high-powered Washington Nationals team. The former reliever does have minimal appearances vs multiple Jays in the past, but you've got to like his chances to hold down the fort for the Rangers – at least early on – against a Toronto team still trying to find their groove. Texas is on a 3-7 O/U run overall, and 14 of their last 19 series openers have either stayed at or below the posted total (5-13-1 O/U).
Given the heated history these two teams have, we likely see one of these four games turn into an offensive fireworks show, but it won't be tonight. Seeing more than 80% of bettors backing the high side of this total only strengthens this thought as Estrada bounces back in a big way tonight and we don't see more than 10 runs scored total.
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