No other AL team is making movement toward the Blue Jays, who have established a lead of +5 games for a wild card spot. They can really use a win in Texas to improve their odds further.
The Blue Jays have all the momentum in the world after what happened Tuesday night. The Blue Jays trailed the Rangers, 5-4, in the bottom of the eighth in Texas. The Rangers loaded the bases with two outs and had a chance to blow the game open. However, Toronto reliever LaTroy Hawkins pitched out of a jam and managed to keep the deficit at one run. In the top of the ninth, with two outs and two men on, Toronto’s new shortstop came through. Troy Tulowitzki, who has been one of the three sparkplugs for this team (alongside David Price and Josh Donaldson), hit a game-tying RBI single to left. Donaldson then grounded out to third… except he wasn’t out. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre was wide left of first base with his throw, pulling his first baseman off the bag. Donaldson was safe, the run scored, and Toronto grabbed a 6-5 lead. The Jays closed down the game in the bottom of the ninth to take the first game of the series and build even more confidence after sweeping the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. Texas won three of four in Detroit over the weekend, but Toronto is clearly the hotter team as evidenced by their odds in this matchup.
Marco Estrada goes to the mound for the Jays. He’s been part of a very solid starting rotation. He has a 3.27 ERA and a very good 1.09 WHIP. He’s allowed no more than three runs in eight of his last nine starts, and no more than two runs in seven of his last nine starts. He should be good in this game; we’ll see if he can go beyond that standard.
Yovani Gallardo takes the bump for Texas. The ace of the staff, he has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He has pitched shutouts in two of his last three starts, but was never able to go beyond six innings in them. He hasn’t pitched into the seventh inning since June 27, but the team he faced that day was Toronto. Gallardo shut out the Jays in 8 1/3 innings on just three hits.
What’s The Pick?
The Jays are the hotter team, but Gallardo might be able to quiet Toronto’s hot bats. The Rangers have won five of his last six outings. It’s a very close call, but Texas gets the edge in this one and is our early MLB pick for Thursday afternoon.
MLB Pick: Rangers +122 at Bookmaker