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Royals vs. Blue Jays Odds, Picks & Best Bets: Does Toronto Provide Value as Favorites? (Saturday, July 31)

Royals vs. Blue Jays Odds, Picks & Best Bets: Does Toronto Provide Value as Favorites? (Saturday, July 31) article feature image

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Rogers Centre.

  • The Toronto Blue Jays returned to their home ballpark on Friday night with a win over the Kansas City Royals.
  • The Blue Jays are heavy favorites behind starting pitcher Alek Manoah and Matt Trebby thinks there's betting value on the Jays to earn another victory on Saturday afternoon.

Royals vs. Blue Jays Odds

Royals Odds+165
Blue Jays Odds-195
TimeSaturday, 3:07 p.m. ET
TVMLB Network
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings

After trading Jorge Soler and Danny Duffy but keeping most of their mediocre roster together, the Kansas City Royals continue their weekend series north of the border against the Blue Jays.

Unlike Kansas City, the Toronto Blue Jays went all-in, knowing their lineup is good enough to compete right now. The Blue Jays are back home in Toronto, while the Royals are on the road, having entered the series 17-31 away from Kauffman Stadium this season.

Let’s break down this matchup and see where the betting value lies:

Royals Have Faded Since Hot Start

Since becoming a starter again before the 2018 season, Mike Minor has proven to be a reliable innings eater. He has registered xFIPs of 4.53, 4.60 and 4.50 entering this season, and he’s at 4.34 through 21 starts in 2021.

While that number is the lowest this season, his ERA is not. After registering 4.18 and 3.59 ERAs between 2018 and ’19 in Texas, Minor was at 5.56 last year and is 5.32 entering Saturday’s game in Toronto.

Minor has registered back-to-back quality starts, but those are coming off a four-start stretch that saw him allow 24 runs in 20 innings.

Bad news for Minor: The Blue Jays’ lineup is heavy with right-handed bats and has a .791 OPS against left-handers over the past 30 days.

Offensively, the Royals ranked 21st in MLB over the past 30 days entering the series opener on Friday with a .716 OPS.

Carlos Santana has disappointed this season, like much of the Royals’ lineup, although Jorge Soler, Salvador Perez and Hunter Dozier are showing signs of life lately. That trio isn’t enough to make up for everyone else’s woes, though. Andrew Benintendi had a .618 OPS over his previous 16 games entering this game and is a microcosm of this Royals season: started out hot but faded fast.

Blue Jays Order Among Best In Baseball

Through his first eight major-league starts, it’s pretty clear that Alek Manoah’s stuff plays in the show.

The right-hander wasn’t the arm that most thought would break through into the Blue Jays’ rotation this year — that was Nate Pearson — but he has provided a big boost in 2021.

Manoah has a 2.91 ERA and 3.98 xFIP through his first 40 1/3 big-league innings.

He has remained relatively steady throughout the season, although control was an issue his last time out. Manoah threw 88 pitches over just 3 2/3 innings, walking three while striking out nine and allowing three runs (two earned) against the Rays.

The Blue Jays’ lineup, meanwhile, is dangerous.

With a top five of George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto can mash with anyone in the majors. There’s some serious depth to that lineup, as well.

All five of those hitters are right-handed, so I’m looking to bet Toronto however I can when they face a southpaw.

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Royals-Blue Jays Pick

While the Royals didn’t go all out in selling at the trade deadline, they still have very little going for them, including Minor.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are trending in the right direction. They’re back at the Rogers Centre, starting with this series, and just acquired Jose Berrios and were clearly looking to buy at the trade deadline.

The Blue Jays have the advantage in every part of this matchup. I’ll back their run line at close to even money on DraftKings.

Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 (-120)

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