MLB Betting: Slight Pitching Edge On Blue Jays' Enough To Give Them Value vs. Astros

Blue Jays

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, August 4, 2016 4:54 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 4:54 PM GMT

The Blue Jays and Astros meet for the final game of their early week, 4-game set. Our Expert handicapper takes a look at the lines and gives his MLB pick on this game.

Toronto Blue Jays (Happ) (-120) vs Houston Astros (Fiers) 8:10 ET
In a surprisingly, low-scoring series, Houston won Monday night (2 - 1) before dropping Games 2 and 3 by scores of 2 - 1 and 3-1. Those low-scoring outings by Houston extend the Astros’ slide, which sees them now on a 2 - 7 dip in which they have totaled just 20 runs while scoring 2 or fewer runs in 5 consecutive games. After making a charge at the division lead with a 34-12 run, Houston has now fallen 5 ½ games behind a suddenly resurgent Rangers team and they trail Detroit, Boston, and Toronto in the Wild Card race.

Toronto has maintained their upwardly mobile run, in which they are 42-24. That has boosted them to a record of 61 - 47. They trail Baltimore by 1 game for the AL East lead but have a record that is good enough for the first Wild Card should the season end today. These teams are virtually even in the OPS batting numbers, while Houston holds a slight edge in the bullpen. It is the edge in starting pitching, along with the negative Houston momentum which has us siding with Toronto tonight. 

I give the starting pitching advantage to Toronto tonight. Fiers, the Houston starter, is pitching his best baseball of the year right now, as he allowed only an unearned run and 4 hits in 6 1/3 IP against the very hot Detroit team in his previous outing. Going back further, Fiers has allowed 2 or less earned runs in 5 of 8 recent starts and has a 4-1 recent record. In his last 2 starts, he has a 2.03 ERA. In addition, Fiers has a strong history against Toronto with a 1.13 ERA in 2 appearances. As good as those numbers appear, they are inferior to those of Toronto starter, Happ, who is 14-3 with a 3.16 ERA. Happ is undefeated in his last 9 starts, over which he has a 2.60 ERA while allowing 2 or less earned runs in 6 of 9.

The better Toronto current form, along with the starting pitching edge, is enough to put us on the side of the Blue Jays tonight at this short road price. I invite you to put the MLB odds in your favor and join me with my MLB pick on the Toronto Blue Jays tonight.  

Free MLB Pick: Blue Jays -115
Best Line Offered: at BetCRIS

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