The Blue Jays travel to the west coast to take on the team from LA that’s not actually from LA. Toronto has sneakily played good baseball through the first month and look to have an outside shot at a wild-card spot. On the other hand, it is more of the same for the Angels, and that is mediocrity. This game is big for both teams to start the second month of baseball off on the right foot.
Money Line – Los Angeles Angels -150, Toronto Blue Jays +140
Run Line – Los Angeles Angels -1.5 (+147), Toronto Blue Jays +1.5 (-163)
Over/Under – 8.5 (O-105, U-115)
First Pitch – 9:07 p.m. Central Time. Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California
Toronto Blue Jays
This team can pitch. The only reason that the Blue Jays are in this position is due to their 3.36 team ERA. That’s good enough for second in the American League. The starting pitching has been exceptionally well. That is especially true for Thursday’s starter, Aaron Sanchez. With a HR/9 sitting at a 0.6, Sanchez has been making teams earn their runs when they face him. His defense behind him needs to do a better job though. Sanchez has given up 12 runs but only 8 of them have been charged to him.
Good pitching is not the only thing bringing excitement to the north. After what seemed like an eternity, and a ton of baseballs sent out of the park, Vlad Guerrero Jr. is finally in the majors. Facing off against his dads’ old team, Guerrero Jr. is one of the most hyped minor league prospects ever. Even though the start to his major league career has been slow, Guerrero Jr. seems like a sure-fire prospect.
Los Angeles Angels
While the Angels do have a tough test facing Aaron Sanchez, they are glad he is a right-handed pitcher. While their .250 batting average against right-handers is just okay, they get on base most of the time. The Angels have a .343 OBP against right-handers compared to a .280 when they are facing left-handed starters. They also hit exceptionally well when they play in Anaheim. A .448 slugging percentage when they are at home shows that they crush balls at home.
The pitching is not holding up as well as the hitting for the Angels. However, starter Tyler Skaggs has been slightly better than the other starting pitchers. In his four starts on the season, Skaggs has a 3.15 ERA, best of all the pitchers who have started at least one game. The only problem is that Skaggs does not last long in his outings. He has only pitched 20 innings over his four starts, and he has a 9.0 H/9. The Angels are going to need Skaggs to last a little longer in this game if they want to win.
Analysis and Prediction
Blue Jays at +140 on the money line are the way to go for this game. I ultimately see this game going down to a pitchers duel, and I would take Sanchez over Skaggs any day of the week.