MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Rangers vs. Blue Jays: How To Bet Toronto as Big Favorite (Saturday, July 17)
G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- The Rangers and Blue Jays continue their series on Saturday at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.
- Toronto won Friday's game 10-2, helping the Blue Jays to creep closer into Wild Card contention.
- Matt Trebby explains below how he's betting this game with Toronto listed as a heavy favorite.
Editor’s note: Saturday’s game has been postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a straight doubleheader on Sunday, beginning at 1:07 p.m. ET.
Rangers vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-250|
|Time||Saturday, 3:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday night and via BetMGM|
The Blue Jays look to continue their postseason push on Saturday night, when they send their most reliable starter to the mound against the Rangers.
Aside from Robbie Ray, Hyun Jin Ryu has been the most reliable Blue Jays starter this season. Alek Manoah has done well in his first taste of the majors, but Steven Matz and Ross Stripling have been average or slightly below and the Blue Jays’ bullpen is absolutely dreadful.
Ryu will start on Saturday opposite another lefty, 23-year-old Kolby Allard, who is looking to establish himself as a young arm the Rangers can build around moving forward.
Let’s dig in and try to find value on Saturday night in Arlington.
What Do the Rangers Have Going for Them?
Once a top prospect in the Braves system, Allard was dealt to Texas at the 2019 trade deadline for reliever Chris Martin. He made his debut at just 20 years old for Atlanta, struggled and was dealt.
Allard didn’t find a rhythm in his first two years with Texas (6.15 ERA over 20 appearances, 17 of which were starts), but he has shown some promise this year. Allard has made eight starts this season and 10 more appearances out of the bullpen. He has a 3.15 ERA as a reliever, as well as an encouraging 3.95 over 43 1/3 innings as a starter.
Those eight starts have been his last eight appearances. He does have a 5.01 ERA over his last four outings, all of which the Rangers have lost.
Allard isn’t going to overwhelm anyone with a fastball that averages 91.7 mph. He throws that 47.3% of the time, mixing in a cutter (his go-to secondary pitch), changeup and curveball.
Unfortunately, that’s the profile that a power-hitting team like Toronto may feast on.
He also may not get much support from a Rangers offense that entered Friday with a .687 OPS that ranked 24th in MLB. That number does go up to .702 against lefties, like Ryu.
Texas is poised to be a seller at the trade deadline, although their prize asset, Joey Gallo, is under contract through the 2023 season. He’s having another fantastic season with 24 home runs and a .923 OPS, while Adolis Garcia is breaking out in center field with 22 long balls of his own.
Nate Lowe has been OK at first base, and that’s all she wrote in regards to the Rangers’ lineup. No one else has been noteworthy, although Texas’ .739 OPS over the last 30 days, as of Friday, is better than its season average.
Blue Jays Getting Stability from Ryu
Ryu hasn’t been a Cy Young Award candidate this season for the Blue Jays, but he’s been what Toronto needs atop its rotation.
The lefty has a 3.56 ERA and 3.93 xFIP while averaging just shy of six innings per start this season. Ryu’s strikeout rate is down this season and he’s allowing 1.28 home runs per nine innings, but his BABIP and walk rates are down.
All things considered, it could be better for Ryu but this is about as bad as it’s going to get for him. Again, that’s great for a Toronto team that doesn’t feature a stellar rotation.
You know what the Blue Jays do have a stellar one of? A lineup. They hit the hell out of the ball.
Toronto entered the second half of the season ranked second in MLB in OPS and home runs, led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who would be the runaway American League MVP in any other season.
Marcus Semien was an All-Star, as were Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez. That trio along with Guerrero and George Springer create one of the league’s most powerful lineups. If Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. can get going, it’ll be even more difficult to slow Toronto.
Most of those hitters are right-handed, and the Blue Jays haven’t raked against lefties this season, so that is one box in Allard’s favor. Toronto entered play on Friday ranked eighth against southpaws in OPS this season at .760, although that number is at .785 over the last month.
Rangers vs. Blue Jays Pick
As I mentioned, I think Allard is a bad matchup for a hard-hitting Blue Jays lineup. Toronto is a heavy, heavy favorite, so I naturally head to the run line.
The Blue Jays have a lot to play for and three capable starters. A hot week might get them active at the trade deadline, and it’s clear they feel a sense of urgency. Let’s keep the good times rolling in Buffalo.
Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 (-125)