MLB Picks: Indians vs. Blue Jays Game Odds Analysis

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 4, 2013 1:06 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 1:06 PM GMT

The Toronto Blue Jays have struggled to get going offensively in the early going this season, but things may turn around in closing out a three-game series versus the Cleveland Indians Thursday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the pro baseball odds for this American League affair, with the opening pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre. 

New look 

Cleveland will be aiming to win its first three games of a particular season for the first time since 1998, as it picked up 3-2 and 4-1 victories over Toronto as +156 and +159 road underdogs respectively the last two days, while going UNDER the total in each contest. 

The Indians are being led by new manager Terry Francona, who has gone 88-72 in his career against the Blue Jays, including a 43-39 mark at this particular ballpark.   

Grounded 

Toronto was expected to be one of the more explosive offenses in the AL after numerous offseason moves, but it has totaled just three runs and nine hits over 20 innings in its first two games of the 2013 MLB campaign.

The Blue Jays are 25-27 in April the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 25-24-3 in that particular situation.

Back from the pen 

Bret Myers returns to a starting rotation after making a career-high 70 relief appearances for the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros a year ago, which is important to consider when making your pro baseball picks Thursday. 

The right-hander will need to try and keep the ball in the ballpark, as he allowed a combined 51 home runs in his last two seasons as a starter from 2010-11.  Toronto has been one of the best power-hitting teams in the AL the last couple seasons.

Welcome back to the AL

Mark Buehrle is back in the AL after spending one season with the Miami Marlins, as he finished with an even 13-13 record and 3.74 ERA, while holding opposing hitters to a .258 average—his lowest mark in that category since his second professional season with the Chicago White Sox in 2001. 

The Blue Jays left-hander has gone 1-4 with a 2.91 ERA in six career starts at this facility, but each of those outings came as a visiting pitcher.   

In 47 career games (46 starts) versus the Indians, Buehrle has compiled a losing 15-17 record and 4.77 ERA, including a 2-2 mark and 6.12 ERA in four outings during the 2012 season. 

[gameodds]3/223857/93-19-999996-92-238/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Indians in the first five innings as one of their MLB picks, as the lineup should have some early opportunities with Myers returning to life as a starting pitcher, while the home team is 53-17 in umpire Lance Barksdale’s last 70 home plate assignments.

MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -165, Cleveland First Five Innings at Pinnacle

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