Betting Baseball: Texas Tops Toronto in This Monday Night Tussle

Doug Upstone

Monday, June 19, 2017 3:10 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 19, 2017 3:10 PM UTC

Toronto goes on the road Monday after a disappointing 2-3 homestand, while Texas puts out the 'welcome' mat in hopes of building on series win over Seattle and take the opener in this four-game set.

The Blue Jays may be in last place in the AL East, but thanks to the Yankees' losing streak they are only six games out of first. The Rangers probably are not going to catch Houston out West; nevertheless, they are positioned to be in the wild card chase.

Having won 18 of the last 28 MLB picks here, I am back to .500 record-wise after horrendous start and have to pick up a few more victories to be in the black for units, which seems very doable right now.


Pitching Matchup: Estrada Vs. Bibens-Dirkx

Marco Estrada (4-5, 4.54 ERA) has been pounded in last three starts like a nail taking on a hammer with a ghastly 12.08 ERA. The right-hander is leaving too many balls up in the strike zone, which is why he is giving up better than a hit an inning for the first time as a starter (2011) and he's on pace to permit a career high in home runs allowed. The usual dip from Estrada's assortment of change-ups is just not happening. He is 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA against Texas in his career.

Persistence has paid off for Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-0, 3.28), now in the majors for the first time at 32. He's pitched in seven games for the Texas, two as a starter and the last was eight days ago, going seven innings, conceding just one run on three hits. His stuff is purely generic, but he inducing a lot of ground balls and only a .200 batting average allowed.


What To Watch For At Plate

Though in the division race, Toronto has to climb over several teams to move up. This road trip is not make or break, facing teams similar to them in Texas and Kansas City, yet this is where the Blue Jays could move up or go south. Josh Donaldson has been a factor since returning and hard to imagine 1B Justin Smoak will not be an All-Star, but if Jays are going to have a winning road trip and lift themselves in the standings, others have to come through.

Winners of seven of their past nine, the Rangers realistically cannot have anymore deep slumps, like they have already had three times this season, and expect to make the postseason. That will include playing better on the road, because at home Texas is 20-15 and is scoring 5.4 runs a game. The problem with the Rangers offense they either have nine or more hits or less than six, which prevents any continuity and being 11th in walks and 3rd in strikeouts only make the issue worse.


Betting Odds, Head-To-Head & Bullpen Numbers

The original MLB odds for this affair had Toronto at -125 and 9.5 and that has been adjusted this morning to -110 and 10.5. The Jays have won seven of 10 in Arlington and the 'over' is 6-3-1. Chances are if you have been betting baseball this season, you have been a victim like me of the Rangers' 12 blown saves, however, the bullpen has improved from last to 9th in ERA in the AL. Toronto's pen is No.7 in ERA.


The Winner Is ...

Maybe Estrada pitches his normal game, having success against Texas. Yet I do not think that will happen and like the fact the Rangers are 73-45 the last two years at home and squeeze out a victory to begin the series.

Free MLB Pick: Rangers +103Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3140764, "sportsbooksIds":[93,19,169,1275,238], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]

comment here