Monday, May 3 at 9:40 p.m. ET
This past week saw the Toronto Blue Jays defend their home field, splitting a two-game series with the Washington Nationals before getting the broom out and sweeping the Atlanta Braves.
The Blue Jays outscored the Braves 26-12 in the three-game sweep. Now, as the team heads out on a 10-game road trip, their lineup looks like the one to beat. They are showcasing their hitting prowess on a regular basis with an average of six runs per game over their last nine.
As they head toward the Oakland Coliseum, the pitcher-friendly park, they will hope that their recent hitting frenzy continues. Although Oakland lost its series against Baltimore, a win in the series finale might be a turning point in the team’s fortunes. The Athletics are less than two weeks removed from a 13-game winning streak and will look to start a new streak on Monday. The current MLB line in the sportsbook for the series opener is Oakland -116 with the total at 8½.
Pitcher Under the Spotlight
Lefty pitcher Steven Matz (4-1, 4.00 ERA, 27 strikeouts) is scheduled to start the proceedings against the A’s. The left-handed pitcher has been in prolific form, allowing three runs or fewer in four consecutive starts before a lean outing in his last start
He was unable to continue where he left off in just four innings against the Washington Nationals. He got hammered for six runs on eight hits, resulting in a loss for the Blue Jays. On the offensive side, Toronto is doing quite well, courtesy Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He has seven home runs and 20 RBIs. Bo Bichette is not that far behind, with seven home runs, 16 RBIs, and a team-high six doubles. The two sons of former big leaguers are showing that their talent runs in the family.
But there is an injury cloud looming over the Blue Jays, with the recent absence of George Springer, who exited his last game due to leg fatigue. The Blue Jays will be hoping that the 2017 MVP of the World Series can get back on his feet before they head out on the field on Monday.
Oakland has Offense
Overall, the Athletics are 9-8 at home and they have been favorites in the last 17 games – winning 11. With a home run tally of 37, Oakland has one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Their success on offense largely revolves around Matt Olson, who has a batting average of .314 and has hit seven home runs. He and Jed Lowrie share the spoils for the team’s RBI lead with 19.
Frankie Montas is expected to start against the Blue Jays, but with a poor ERA (6.20), he could be a weak link for Oakland. However, they need Montas, especially after a breakout season in 2019. With velocity like his, he only needs to control his home run woes and he’s good to go. Don’t forget that left-hander Jesus Luzardo is on the injury list with a “video-game injury.”
Team Canada vs Team USA
Toronto has been putting up some dominant performances, especially when Matz is out there. The left-hander’s quality form could turn out to be the difference in this game. That said, Oakland is better than they have been playing over their last few games. Even with injuries to its pitching staff, Oakland’s hitters should keep them in the game. Matz is due for a letdown performance and the A’s are due to heat up again. We like the Athletics to take the first game, and with the MLB Betting line in the sportsbook at Oakland -130 for the series, we like the A’s for the series, too.