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Blue Jays vs. Astros Odds and Predictions: How Will Injuries Impact Friday’s tilt? (April 22)

Blue Jays vs. Astros Odds and Predictions: How Will Injuries Impact Friday’s tilt? (April 22) article feature image
Credit:

Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: George Springer.

  • The list of injuries keeps getting longer for the Blue Jays as they take on the Astros on Friday night.
  • That's even less ideal for Toronto when it's going up against Justin Verlander.
  • Nick Shlain explains how to bet this game with injuries in mind below.

Blue Jays vs. Astros Odds

Blue Jays Odds +144
Astros Odds -175
Over/Under 8.5 (-105 / -115)
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays each have World Series aspirations this year, and they’ll meet Friday in Houston for what could be an American League Championship Series preview.

Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, they’ve been bitten by the injury bug already this season, as outfielder Teoscar Hernández and starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu are on the injured list.

In Ryu’s place, Ross Stripling (4.80 ERA in 101.1 innings pitched last year) will get the start. That might be the least of their worries, as Toronto’s offense will face one of the greatest pitchers of all time in Justin Verlander, who’s fresh off of eight shutout innings against the Mariners in his last start.

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Blue Jays Dealing With Injuries

While the Blue Jays have Hernandez and Ryu on the IL, George Springer was also hit by a pitch on the forearm on Wednesday. He wasn’t in the starting lineup on Thursday, though he did come off the bench, only to strike out twice.

Springer’s availability will be something to watch leading up to this game because Toronto’s lineup is a lot weaker without both he and Hernandez. However, there’s also the possibility that he’s hampered by the injury. If he’s in the starting lineup, though, this would be a bit of a homecoming game for Springer against his old team in Houston.

Stripling filling in for Ryu here isn’t so great for Toronto. Stripling was hit pretty hard last year with a 4.80 ERA.

He allows power to both right-handed and left-handed hitters, as his ISO allowed to right-handed batters sat at .250 and his ISO allowed to left-handed batters was .197 last season.

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Verlander Rolling With Houston

One lineup note on the Astros is that Jose Altuve is out for this game, as he’s on the IL with a hamstring strain. Even without Altuve, the Houston lineup has the upper hand against Stripling at home.

Outfielders Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker each had ISOs above .250 against right-handed pitching last year, and rookie Jeremy Peña’s ISO is above .300 in a small sample size against right-handed pitching this season.

The feature player for the Astros for this game is Verlander. In two starts this year, Verlander has a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings. He’s allowed three hits and three walks while striking out 15.

Verlander’s 39-years-old but is showing no signs of slowing down early in his return from Tommy John surgery. There are rumors he could pitch into his 40s like Tom Brady in the NFL, and as long as he’s still at the top of his game, why not?

Blue Jays-Astros Pick

While the Blue Jays have a dangerous lineup, they might be getting more respect than they deserve here against Verlander without Hernández and possibly Springer.

I like the Astros to prevail in this one. However, despite Verlander going eight innings in his last start, the end game could be tricky for Houston with closer Ryan Pressly is on the injured list.

For that reason, I’ll steer away from Astros -1.5 and just lay the juice. I’ll take the moneyline up to -165.

Pick: Astros ML -165

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