Heading into the series opener on Friday night, the Blue Jays are coming off a tiresome stretch of games while the Astros are a bit of a funk dropping three consecutive contests.
Houston Astros Form
Through a little more than the first half of the season, Houston Astros have been the best team in the American League with the best mark.
Much of this has been accomplished their league-best offense that is tops in the league in batting average (.290), runs scored (630), hits (1094), doubles (240), home runs (175), on-base percentage (.353), and slugging percentage (.499). Their offensive production has come from the balanced lineup that features 11 players with double-digit home run totals while four have driven in more 60 RBIs a piece and five possessing batting averages north of .300.
However, the Astros have hit a bit of a road bump over the last 10 games holding a 4-6 record while dropping their last three consecutive games. All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has struggled through the first two games of August going a hitless 0-for-8 in both contests, which mark the first done that since June 12-13 against the Texas Rangers.
In fact, he hasn’t gone hitless in three straight games this season. Keep in mind, he’s coming off a blazing hot month of July where he batted .485 while getting hits in 21 of 23 games and had 16 multi-hit games that helped him earn AL Player of the Month.Meanwhile, Houston was outscored 14-7 in the final three games of the the four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It has put them in a mini funk heading into the three-game set against the Blue Jays.
The Astros are set to put on the mound with Brad Peacock, who has played in a dual role as a starter and reliever through various portions of this season. He currently holds a 9-1 record with a 2.62 ERA in 24 appearances with 11 starts. Peacock also possesses a career 2-0 record with a 3.09 ERA against the Blue Jays.
Houston will head into the series a bit undermanned with their two biggest bats in the lineup All-Stars shortstop Carlos Correa and outfielder George Springer, who are both sidelined with injuries. Correa has been out since mid-July with a torn ligament in his thumb while Springer is nearing a return from a nagging quadriceps injury.
Toronto Blue Jays Form
Toronto has had their own fair share of struggles with consistency this season currently holding a record that is six game under .500 while sitting 5.5 games out of the second wildcard spot. They are also coming off an exhausting stretch of playing 20 games in 20 days prior to getting a day off on Thursday.
The Blue Jays held a 10-10 mark during that span despite being outscored by 14 runs. This includes winning seven of their last 10 games that was capped by winning the final two games against the Chicago White Sox heading in Friday’s contest.
Cesar Valdez is set to take the bump for the Blue Jays against the Astros, who he holds a 1-0 record with a 4.50 ERA in two games including one start this season. His last appearance against Houston came on April 28 where he gave up three runs on four hits in just three innings of work.
The bookmakers currently have this game in favor of the Blue Jays given the Astros recently struggles. Ladbrokes has Toronto holding odds 23/20 for the contest while Houston sits at 20/27.
We would suggest that you go with the Blue Jays at 7/4 odds for the game due to the Astros being undermanned while coming off a three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Toronto has won three out of their last four games heading into Friday night.