Texas stole Game 1 of this ALDS with Toronto Thursday, cashing in a big betting underdog. Can the Rangers make it two in a row Friday afternoon?
Rangers-Blue Jays ALDS Game 2 Odds
In the early betting action the best MLB odds we could find on Toronto with Marcus Stroman was the -180 offered at Pinnacle, while Texas with lefty Cole Hamels was getting +170 at 5Dimes.
Texas grabbed Game 1 of this ALDS Thursday afternoon 5-3, getting five good innings from starter Yovani Gallardo, scoring five runs off Toronto ace David Price and cashing in as +220 post-time underdogs on the MLB playoff odds.
The Blue Jays still lead the season series four games to three.
Game 2 Mound Match-Up
Stroman (4-0, 1.67) is proving a wonderful late-season addition to the Toronto rotation, after missing the first five months recovering from a torn knee. So far he's three-for-four on quality starts, and the Jays are 4-0 when he's pitched. Nine days ago he held Baltimore to one run through eight innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed just two runs through 22 innings.
In his one career start against Texas, in July of last season, Stroman threw seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball in a 4-1 Toronto victory.
Hamels (13-8, 3.65) is 21-for-32 on quality starts this year, eight-for-12 since joining the Rangers in that trade with Philly back in July. Last Sunday he pitched the division-clinching win for Texas, going the distance against the Angels, giving up just two runs and three hits, which was a nice bounce-back effort, after a poor outing the start before against Detroit.
Texas is 10-2 in Hamels' starts, with the OVERS going 8-3.
This will be Hamels' first start against Toronto since May of last season, when as a Phillie he got clipped for five runs in six innings of a 6-5 Philly defeat.
Game 2 Batting Splitse
Texas ranked third in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .328 team on-base percentage, and eighth with a .414 team slugging percentage.
Toronto, on the other hand, ranked No. 1 this season against left-handed pitching with both a .354 team OBP and a .463 slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Thursday's game played OVER its total, but only because that total was 7.5 runs. During the regular season games played at Rogers Centre skewed 46-31 toward the UNDERS, even though they averaged 9.2 runs per, fifth-most among all ML ballparks.
Several interesting thing happened in Thursday's Game 1; first, Texas 3B Adrian Beltre tweaked his back, and had to leave the game; then Toronto's Josh Donaldson, the probable AL MVP, took a knee to the head trying to break up a play at second base, and also had to leave; and Jays slugger Jose Bautista left the game late with a bad hammy. Their status for Game 2, and the rest of this series, is uncertain.
ALDS Game 2 Free Picks
We missed on our free MLB pick on Thursday's game with Toronto, but actually saved ourselves a unit by playing the run line. As for Friday's contest, bettors might want to check the lineup cards before getting down, due to those injuries mentioned above. Ultimately, while Stroman has been great, we feel the value on that betting line resides with the Rangers.
MLB Pick: Texas +170 at 5Dimes