Will Runs Be Rarity in Four-Game Series?
On Monday, the Houston Astros (35-24) head to Canada to take on the Toronto Blue Jays (33-27). Following a 3-1 series win over the Los Angeles Angels, Houston hopes to get hot as it trails the Texas Rangers by 3½ games in the American League West. After winning six of their last seven games, the sportsbook favors the Blue Jays for this four-game series.
The Astros lead the MLB in allowed runs per game, while Toronto has held seven consecutive opponents to four or fewer runs. Are we in store for a low-scoring game?
Astros’ Batting Order Lifts Off
Houston’s hitting was lacking for a large portion of the season. However, the Astros are averaging 5.4 runs over their last 10 games, the fourth-best mark in baseball. Third baseman Alex Bregman is a good option for your MLB picks and parlays. He is on an 11-game hitting streak, including five multi-hit games. If Houston’s hitting stays consistent, it could catch the Rangers in the AL West. According to MLB lines, the Astros remain the favorite to win the division.
Alex Bregman’s 5th career grand slam extends his hitting streak to 10 games! pic.twitter.com/CaB8nXkJmi
— MLB (@MLB) June 3, 2023
Blue Jays Gear Up for Tough Test
Despite its 6-1 stretch, Toronto still sits in fourth place in the AL East. MLB odds expect a postseason appearance from the Blue Jays, but they currently sit out of the wild card picture. Houston will be Toronto’s best test since a 3-1 series loss against the Tampa Bay Rays from May 22 to 25. The under is 4-1 in the last five Jays games. Will Toronto’s bullpen slow the Astros’ hitters?
Brandon Bielak (2-2, 3.19 ERA) vs Alex Manoah (1-6, 5.46)
Brandon Bielak moved from the bullpen into a starting role in May. After starting in five games, he could remain a starter for the rest of the season. He has an impressive 3.19 ERA, but there are some concerns with his 1.452 WHIP. Bielak also allowed five home runs over his five starts. Toronto ranks 10th in slugging percentage. Taking a Blue Jays slugger, like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to hit a home run early is an enticing choice for MLB live betting.
After making his first All-Star game last season, Alek Manoah is having his worst season by a landslide. He has a 5.46 ERA, 1.769 WHIP and a 1.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His command has disappeared with 41 walks in 12 appearances. For comparison, Manoah had 51 walks in 31 outings last season. The Blue Jays have also lost six consecutive games with Manoah on the mound.
Astros vs Blue Jays Head-to-Head
This matchup is split at 5-5 over the last 10 meetings. Toronto is 2-1 in its last three home games against Houston. In Manoah’s last start against the Astros, the Blue Jays won 3-2.
Astros vs Blue Jays Match Information
- Game: Houston (35-24) vs Blue Jays (33-27)
- Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
- Day/Time: Monday, June 5, 7:07 p.m. ET
- Astros vs Blue Jays Live Stream: MLB.tv
Astros vs Blue Jays Betting Lines
The Astros-Blue Jays features the highest projected total of Monday at 10. Many are still skeptical of Bielak as he has recently stepped into the starting role, and Manoah has shown no signs of improving. Both pitchers have also allowed five home runs in their last five starts.
Pick: Over 10 (-110)
Considering Manoah’s struggles, it’s surprising the Astros are the underdog. Houston has hit well over the last two weeks and is on a four-game winning streak against MLB spreads. Second baseman Jose Altuve could be out with an oblique injury, but the Astros put up nine runs without the eight-time All-Star on Saturday. Houston priced at +105 is too good to pass up.
Pick: Houston Astros ML (+105)