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Angels vs. Blue Jays MLB Odds & Picks: Expect a High-Scoring Game (Thursday, April 8)

Angels vs. Blue Jays MLB Odds & Picks: Expect a High-Scoring Game (Thursday, April 8) article feature image

Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Trout of the Angels.

  • Toronto's returns "home" after dropping two of three to the Rangers.
  • Los Angeles has hit the fifth-most home runs in baseball but are outside the top 10 in slugging.
  • Jeff Hicks explains why he likes the over and the Angels to win.

Angels vs. Blue Jays Odds

Angels Odds+100
Blue Jays Odds-109
Time7:07 p.m. ET
Odds as of Wednesday Night and via PointsBet.

The Toronto Blue Jays return "home" to Dunedin trying to wash the bad taste from their collective mouth after losing two of three to the Texas Rangers. The Angels split a two-game set with the Astros and will send Griffin Canning to the mound in his season debut. The Blue Jays are hoping Ross Stripling can rebound from a disastrous season debut.

Will Stripling and the Jays offense get on track or will the Angels continue to look like a dangerous team?

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Los Angeles Angels

Despite being a league-average team on offense and defense, the Los Angeles Angels have taken three of five games from preseason projected playoff teams. One thing L.A. has done well on both sides of the ball is be on the right side of the worst of three true outcomes — strikeouts. The offense has struck out 21.2% of plate appearances while striking out 11.17 batters per nine innings when facing hitters. Both are good for top 10 in baseball.

Starting pitcher Griffin Canning needs to keep that trend going in the right direction against an offense that can hit the ball well despite early season failures. Toronto has been okay at limiting their own strikeouts, but the offense enters Thursday's game with a -6.0 Offensive WAR, 25th in MLB. Canning is about to enter his prime and has been a league-average pitcher up to this point. That may be good enough for the Angels to stymy the Blue Jays' offense.

Los Angeles has hit nine homers (fifth in MLB) but are outside the top 10 in team slugging. It has been all or nothing in the power department, which works for them. Ross Stripling's home runs per nine innings doubled in 2020 after consistently hovering around 1.10, and the trend downward continued in his first start.

The home runs are great for Angels' bats, but maybe find a couple gaps in the outfield too, please?

Toronto Blue Jays

If Stripling cannot find the zone and serves up the long ball, this could get ugly in a hurry with the Blue Jays' offense hitting a snag in their last series. The youth movement is strong north of the border, but slow starts are littered throughout the lineup.

Bo Bichette, Randal Grichuk and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are the only three hitters with positive Offensive WARs. Six of the lineup's regulars have negative Offensive WAR numbers, led by first baseman Rowdy Tellez's -3.6 one week into the season.

This offense can get back on track against Canning. Again, he has been league average in limited time over two seasons and allows over 63% of balls in play through the air.  Making contact could simply be the difference, too. The Angels have committed six errors in six games. The six miscues are tied for second-most in baseball

Angels-Blue Jays Pick

This game could be fun to watch if you enjoy runs, because the rest could go sideways in a hurry. The moneyline wagers are close and nearly represent a coinflip. The bet comes down to trusting a league-average team versus another that has been inconsistent.

Pick:  Over Total Runs (-120 or better) and Angels ML (+110 or better)

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