Toronto Blue Jays (-108) at Houston Astros (-102, 8.5 o/u)
The first of a four-game series between the Toronto Blue Jays (17-18, 8-11 Away) and Houston Astros (21-13, 9-9 Home) goes tonight at Minute Maid Park (8:10 PM Eastern Time) as youngster Drew Hutchison (3-0, 6.69 ERA) takes on veteran Roberto Hernandez (1-3, 3.86 ERA).
The Houston Astros are one of the surprise teams of the MLB season so far, sitting on top of the American League East ahead of A.L. favorites Los Angeles. That said, the Astros are just 4-6 in their last ten and there are serious concerns that they won’t be able to keep up the early pace.
A large part of those concerns center on the team’s relative struggles at home. Houston is 12-4 on the road, but just 9-9 at Minute Maid.
Hernandez, a veteran right-hander has pitched decently this year, posting a respectable 3.86 ERA, but he hasn’t gotten much run support. In his last outing, he went 7.2 innings, allowing six hits and just two runs against the Angels, but took the loss in a 2-0 setback.
Toronto, meanwhile, has been hovering around .500 all season. The team is an even 5-5 in its last ten, but has lost three of its last four. The Jays will send opening day starter Drew Hutchison to the mound tonight. Unlike Hernandez, Hutchison has been the beneficiary of the league’s top offense; he’s a perfect 3-0 on the year despite having an ERA of almost seven. His last outing was par for the course this year; he gave up seven hits over 5.0 innings in a 7-1 win over the Red Sox.
As far as the head-to-head trends are concerned, the Astros have won the last three at home against Toronto. The pitching stats indicate that Hernandez is due for some run support and a W, while it’s untenable that Hutchison can remain perfect with his inflated ERA.
Pick: Houston (-102).
(Photo credit: James G (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo may appear cropped.)