Following a weekend series loss at the hands of the Astros in Houston, the Blue Jays will return home to Toronto on Monday night to start a series with the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels, fresh off splitting four games in St. Petersburg with the Tampa Bay Rays, will be getting some good injury news as Justin Upton is set to make his season debut.
Upton has been on the injured list since spring training with turf toe, but he’ll return on Monday to give the Halos’ lineup a much-needed boost in the power department. Upton, who has hit 30 or more homers in each of the last two seasons, should start in left field against the Jays Monday night.
|Betting Data||Angels||Blue Jays|
|2019 ATR Home||18-17-0||12-22-0|
|2019 ATR Away||22-15-0||19-18-0|
|2019 O/U Home||16-18-1||15-18-1|
|2019 O/U Away||16-16-5||18-17-2|
It’s a bit surprising that the Angels are not one of Edwin Jackson’s many former big-league teams. Jackson has played for a whopping 14 teams in his major league career, and he’s in his first season with Toronto after being acquired in a trade from the Oakland A’s on May 11.
Jackson has been around the block a time or two, but he hasn’t enjoyed a whole lot of success to this point for Toronto. The right-hander has a low strikeout rate of just 13.9% along with a fairly high walk rate north of 8%. His 5.93 xFIP is quite a bit better than his ERA, which is over 10, but a 5.93 xFIP is nothing to write home about either.
The matchup with the Angels is a fairly daunting one to begin with. Los Angeles has the lowest team strikeout rate in the league against right-handed pitching, and this is quietly one of the more powerful lineups in all of baseball. In addition to Upton, Jackson will have to navigate the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Kole Calhoun and Justin Bour, among others.
All things considered, I’d be very surprised if Jackson made it past the fourth inning in this one tonight.
Entering play Monday, the Angels find themselves at 35-37 on the season, which is good for just fourth place in the American League West. The surprising 38-33 Texas Rangers have plenty to do with that, but the Angels were at least expected to compete for a Wild Card berth this season.
There is still enough time to get back into the race, but the Halos have to be at least a little discouraged by the way their season has begun. Missing Upton and Ohtani for much of the season obviously hasn’t helped, but they still haven’t lived up to expectations to this point.
Felix Pena is expected to take the ball for the Angels on Monday night. The right-hander owns a solid 24.5% strikeout rate on the year, but he has also allowed hard hits at a 39.2% clip, and he’s been taken deep 10 times across 13 appearances to this point.
Pena has been downright dominant against right-handed hitters, but lefties have continued to give him problems. Pena has allowed a solid .255 wOBA to righties, but lefties own a .355 mark against him, and they’ve accounted for six of the 10 homers he’s served up.
The Jays don’t have the most daunting lineup, but they can throw plenty of lefties Pena’s way. Rowdy Tellez, Justin Smoak, Cavan Biggio, Eric Sogard, and Freddy Galvis will each hold the platoon edge against the Halos’ starter.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that there should be no shortage of runs scored in Toronto tonight. Jackson draws a brutal matchup with an improving Angels lineup, while Pena will square off against a lineup that may feature four to five left-handed hitters.
I definitely prefer the Angels side of this game. So, I think there’s merit to betting on Los Angeles to cover the runline at -110, or you can take the over on 10 ½ runs being scored at -120. Obviously, the slightly better value comes on the Halos’ runline.
Angels -1 ½ (-110), Over 10 ½ runs (-120)
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