Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Trout
The Angels and Blue Jays are a combined 5-15 over their past 20 games. Both of these teams got off to decent starts but are now falling down the ladder in two tough divisions.
The odds are very tight across the market for this series opener, so let’s see if we can’t find something to sway you one way or the other.
Los Angeles Angels (-105) at Toronto Blue Jays (-105) | O/U: 9
Garrett Richards (4-2, 3.47 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.15 ERA)
7:07 p.m. ET
What’s Happening? Happ has a home run problem. The 35-year-old southpaw is giving up 1.56 homers per 9 innings pitched this year, and 19.1% of all fly balls hit off him have left the yard. Other than that, though, things look pretty rosy for the journeyman. Happ is striking out 11.42 batters per 9 while only walking 2.25 per 9. Both of those metrics are much better than his career rate. Happ also boasts a 50% ground-ball rate, and his 2.99 xFIP suggests that he has been sneaky good this year.
The Angels have mashed 62 taters (fourth-most in the majors), but they’ve fared better against righties this year.
No Bounce Back: The Jays have lost four in a row, including a 9-2 loss at home to Oakland on Sunday. My instinct was that Toronto would be undervalued in this situation, but I was wrong. Since 2005, underdogs on a losing streak of four or more games that lost their previous game by seven or more runs went 139-267 (34%) in their next game. That has cost $100 bettors $7,839 during that span. — John Ewing
On the Road: The Angels have started the season 14-4 on the road (+8.9 units), making them the third-most profitable road team in baseball. This is the Angels’ most profitable start on the road to a season since 2005. — Evan Abrams