It has been an amazing ALDS between the Blue Jays & Rangers. I am not trying to be simply a contrary person on my picks but I will gladly take the plus money today and back the Texas Rangers.
MLB odds makers have come out making the Blue Jays a strong -170 favorite and at some places it is gone all the way up to -190. For me though that just puts good value on the Texas Rangers with a good pitcher on the mound. You can get good value on Texas at BetOnline at +168. For one of my MLB picks today I'm going to back them as the underdog spot to win this game.
Cole Hamels gets the start and comes in with a 3.65 ERA, 1.19 whip, 215 strikeouts, and a 13-8 record. More importantly he is just the type of guy you want on the mound in a game you have to win or go home. Last time against Toronto he pitched very well allowing just two earned runs off a six hits in seven innings. If he can keep the ball in the park against the league's best offense I think it gives Texas a good shot to win this game... obviously. At some strong plus money value I think this a good spot to go ahead and take him.
Texas hits .256 as a team, average 4.62 runs per game, and have an OPS of .733. In the major leagues they rank third as far as runs go per game and they have one of the better offenses all around in the major leagues. Like Toronto, they get a chance to face a pitcher they have already seen in which they had a little bit of success. They have solid hitters up and down the lineup and I look for them to embrace the underdog role.
Toronto Blue Jays
Marcus Stroman takes the mound for Toronto with a 1.67 ERA, 0.96 whip, 18 strikeouts, and a 4-0 record. As mentioned he already faced the Rangers once and he pitched well allowing three earned runs off of five hits in seven innings. He just came back from injury in mid-September but he has pitched exceptionally for the most part. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments the Rangers make against him, and vice versa. There is a lot of pressure on him today to pitch a good ballgame and I simply don't know how well he will perform thus another reason why I think the value backs the Rangers.
Offensively Toronto ranks first in runs scored per game at 5.49, first in OPS at .795, and third in batting average hitting .268 as a team. The last two games they really started to swing the bats well but there is a bit of pressure on them being such a heavy favorite. They like to score runs in bunches, but I think they have a tough matchup today and may not be as productive as one might anticipate.
Let's face it, Toronto should win this game and the odds makers have back that fact up with the number. But realistically this game could go either way, and in baseball home-field advantage is not nearly as big as an football or basketball. Not to say them playing at home won't have them juiced up to play well today, just stating a fact. Although it may be hard to do so, for one of your MLB picks I suggest backing the Texas Rangers with the value. At just less than 2 to 1 odds your backing a tough veteran pitcher and a very good offense in a game that I really believed to go either way, should be a fun one in Toronto.
MLB Picks: Texas Rangers +167 at Bet365