If baseball's playoffs started today the Blue Jays and Angels would meet for a wild-card bout in Toronto. Instead, Toronto is a road favorite for the opener of a three-game series at the Big A.
Blue Jays-Angels Friday Odds
Most of Friday's MLB betting market opened Toronto with David Price at around -135 over Anaheim and Hector Santiago, then bumped that price 20-25 cents. As of this writing the best line we could find on the Jays was the -152 offered at Heritage, while the Angels were getting +150 at 5Dimes.
Also, BetOnline was chalking Toronto at -115 to win this series, with Anaheim “getting” -105 as home “dogs.”
Anaheim just took three of four games at home from the White Sox, missing the sweep by losing Thursday 8-2. But the Angels are only 1-2 over their last three series, and 4-7 over their last 11 games.
At 63-58 Anaheim trails first-place Houston by 2.5 games in the AL West, but leads Baltimore by a half-game in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Toronto, meanwhile, just split two games in Philadelphia, losing Wednesday 7-4. So the Jays are now 4-1-1 over their last six series, and 16-4 over their last 20 games.
At 66-55 Toronto trails first-place New York by a game and a half in the AL East, but leads the American League wild-card race by three games over these Angels.
This is the second encounter between these teams this season; back in May they split a four-game series at Rogers Centre.
Friday's Mound Match-Up
Santiago (7-6, 2.86), by our strict standards, is only 11-for-23 on quality starts this season, and has been a bit iffy as of late. He's coming off a good performance last time out, after holding Kansas City to two runs through seven innings last Sunday, but over his four starts previous to that he gave up 14 earned runs through 21 1/3 innings. On the season Santiago has allowed fewer hits, 119, than innings pitched, 142, walked 44 and struck out 131.
Anaheim is 12-11 in Santiago's starts, with the UNDERS going 12-11.
In his one career start against Toronto, back in May, Santiago allowed just two runs – one earned – through seven innings of a 3-2 Angels victory.
Fellow lefty Price (11-4, 2.41) is 17-for-24 on quality starts this season, three-for-three since joining the Jays earlier this month in that trade with Detroit. Last Friday he was charged with three runs through 7 1/3 innings against the Yankees, thanks in part to his bullpen, which allowed two inherited runners to score in the eighth inning. So over his last three starts he's held foes to four runs through 22 1/3 innings. On the season Price has allowed fewer hits, 150, than innings pitched, 168, struck out 162 and walked just 34.
The Jays are 2-1 in Price's starts, with the UNDERS going 3-0.
Price has started once earlier this season against Anaheim, back in May, when he gave up four runs – two earned – through 7 2/3 innings of a 4-2 Tigers loss.
Friday's Batting Splits
Toronto ranks second in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .281 team batting average, and first with a .353 team on-base percentage.
Anaheim, meanwhile, ranks 27th against lefties with a .233 team average and 26th with a .302 team OBP.
Regarding the MLB picks most likely to win, we'll give the edge with the sticks to the Blue Jays.
Ballpark Totals Factor
The UNDERS are 35-26 in games played at the Big A this season, which are averaging 7.2 runs per, third-fewest among all ML ballparks.
Jays-Angel Friday Free Picks
We give Toronto the check mark in the pitching match-up, with the sticks and in the bullpen comparison. So we'll go with the Jays for tonight, and take a chance with a play on the run line. Also, Toronto owns a top-seven or so bullpen, and Anaheim's ain't too bad, either, so we're thinking UNDER.