Monday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Indians vs. Blue Jays Betting Preview (Aug. 2)
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images. Pictured: George Springer.
- The struggling Indians head north of the border for a series with the surging Blue Jays.
- Cleveland will send right-hander Eli Morgan to the mound for a tough matchup opposite left-hander Robbie Ray.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down the matchup below and delivers his best bet for the game.
Indians vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-310|
|Over/Under||9.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||3:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings|
On paper, this game shouldn’t be too close.
The Cleveland Indians are in free fall after a promising start to the season. They traded their star during the offseason and just did some selling to a division rival at the trade deadline.
The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile, have a lethal lineup and are rolling at the moment. They have a very good starter on the mound and are back home in Toronto, where they just completed a three-game sweep of the Royals.
So where can we find value north of the border? Let’s break it down:
Cleveland Does Not Rock
There were early signs of optimism this season for the Indians, reasons to believe that life after Francisco Lindor might not be totally terrible. They were 41-31 on June 24.
Since then, though, Cleveland is 10-20 and fading fast.
The start of Eli Morgan’s major-league career has not gone as he would have hoped, and this isn’t exactly a “get-right” matchup for him.
Morgan has made seven starts in the show, and he has allowed at least three runs in all of them. He made his debut against the Blue Jays back on May 28, and it didn’t go well. He allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings.
Morgan’s 4.42 xFIP does indicate his 7.47 ERA is going to drop, likely because he’s allowing a very high 3.16 home runs per nine innings. He’s given up multiple homers in four of his last six starts.
In relief of Morgan, the Indians’ bullpen has been dreadful of late. It has a 4.92 ERA over the past 30 days, which ranks 22nd in MLB.
The Indians’ lineup doesn’t necessarily have a great matchup on Monday night against Robbie Ray. Cleveland’s .714 OPS against left-handed pitching over the last 30 days, as of Sunday night, ranks 21st in MLB. The Tribe ranks 25th on the season in that category at .701.
The main problem with Cleveland’s batting order is that there is a significant lack of depth. José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes have been fantastic: each having hit 20 or more home runs this season. Bobby Bradley provided a nice spark when he was initially called up, but he has seriously faded of late. Cleveland even traded leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez to the White Sox at the deadline.
Blue Jays Set to Feast
Playing on a one-year contract, Ray has proven to be a fantastic piece of business for the Blue Jays.
The left-hander struggled over the last two seasons, registering 4.86 ERA from 2019-20. This year, that number is down to 3.04 and his 3.32 xFIP backs that up.
The biggest reason for the renewed success is a much lower walk rate. Ray walked 4.34 per nine innings in 2019 and a staggering 7.84 last year. That number is down to 2.36 in 2021, which is well below his career number of 4.05.
Ray’s strikeouts are down, as well, at 11.41 per nine innings, which would be his lowest total since 2016. His .266 BABIP would be the lowest of his career.
The southpaw just finished an excellent month of July, during which he registered a 1.99 ERA over five starts. His WHIP was below 1.00 and he allowed a .613 OPS to opposing hitters.
Offensively, the Blue Jays are a juggernaut. Their first five in the lineup is as good as any team’s in baseball, and they’ve scored 28 runs over their last four games.
Facing a young starter like Morgan who is yet to find his stride in the majors will be mouthwatering for the Toronto lineup.
Indians-Blue Jays Pick
Every part of this matchup is in favor of the Blue Jays. Obviously, there’s no value on their moneyline, and this is a rare matchup that has the line at Toronto -2.5 at some books.
I know this is a great matchup for the Blue Jays’ lineup, but they have only had three of their last 10 games go over this 9.5 total. Combine that with Ray entering this start pitching well and an improving Toronto bullpen, I’ll play the under.
Pick: Under 9.5 runs