Toronto stayed alive in this ALDS with a Game 3 win Sunday, giving this handicapper a winning MLB pick on the side. The Jays shoot for a repeat performance Game 4; do we play along, or jump ship?
Blue Jays-Rangers ALDS Game 4 Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds we could find on Toronto with knuckleballer RA Dickey was the -134 offered at JustBet, while Texas with lefty Derek Holland was getting +131 at 5Dimes.
Also, 5Dimes was now chalking the Rangers at -175 to win this series, with the Blue Jays getting +155.
After dropping the first two games of this ALDS at home Toronto kept hope alive with a 5-1 victory Sunday at Globe Life Park. The Jays got 6 1/3 quality innings from starter Marco Estrada, while Troy Tulowitzki broke the game open with a three-run homer in the top of the sixth.
This handicapper split his two free MLB picks on Sunday's game, hitting with the Blue Jays but missing on the OVER.
Toronto now leads this season series five games to four, with the totals splitting 4-4-1.
Game 4 Mound Match-Up
Holland (4-3, 4.91), by our tough accounting, is just three-for-10 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last five. Eleven days ago he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Angels, and over his last five starts he's been touched for 24 runs through 28 1/3 innings.
Texas is 5-5 in Holland's starts this season, with the UNDERS going 5-4.
In his one start this season against Toronto, back about six weeks ago, Holland gave up four runs, and three homers, in six innings of a 6-5 Rangers loss in Arlington. That game played OVER a total of nine runs.
Dickey (11-11, 3.91) is 17-for-33 on quality starts, and one inning away from going three for his last three. Twelve days ago he threw five scoreless innings against Baltimore, and over his last three starts he's held foes to four runs through 18 innings.
The Jays are 18-15 in Dickey's starts, with the UNDERS going 15-14.
This will be Dickey's first start against Texas this season; last season, over two starts against the Rangers, Dickey gave up eight ER and three home runs through 13 1/3 innings; Toronto lost both those games.
With the Jays in desperation mode, if Dickey gets in trouble Monday, especially early, David Price could be an option out of the bullpen.
Game 4 Batting Splits
Toronto led the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with both a .354 team on-base percentage and a .463 team slugging percentage.
Texas, on the other hand, ranked third against right-handed pitching with a .328 team OBP and eighth with a .414 team slugging percentage. However, Dickey isn't quite the average right-hander, throwing those flutterballs as he does.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Globe Life Park this season split the totals 37-37, even while they averaged 9.8 runs per, third-most among all ML ballparks. Sunday's game, though, played UNDER a total of 9.5 runs.
Texas 3B Adrian Beltre has missed the last two games with a strained back, and his status for Monday remains very iffy.
ALDS Game 4 Free Picks
Dickey doesn't inspire a ton of betting confidence, but we give him the edge in the pitching match-up. And Toronto owns an edge with the sticks, especially if Beltre sits again, as is expected. So we like the Blue Jays to send this series back to Toronto with a victory Monday. Also, we can see this game getting to 6-4 and more, so we also like the OVER.
MLB Picks: Blue Jays (-128) & OVER 9.5 runs (+100) at Heritage