The Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros have front-end starters lined up against each other on Friday, but both Aaron Sanchez and Gerrit Cole are carrying some longer-term OVER trends.
The Blue Jays are the +230 underdog (bet $100 to win $230) while the Houston Astros are a -280 home favorite (bet $280 to win $100) on the MLB odds for Friday, with an 8.0-run total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Since they became American League counterparts in 2013, Houston’s Minute Maid Park has been a tough place for the Blue Jays, who are 7-14 in their last 21 away games against the Astros according to the OddsShark MLB Database. The Blue Jays are also 2-8 in their last 10 games as a moneyline underdog of +200 or greater, and the total has gone OVER in six of those 10 games with three pushes as well.
Blue Jays at Astros | OddsShark Matchup Report
Sanchez has been credited with a 3-7 record and 4.25 earned-run average in 14 starts this season. His last two starts were so-so, as he was touched up for a combined nine earned runs in 12 innings. The Blue Jays are 5-8 in Sanchez’s last 13 starts when they were the underdog, and the total has gone OVER in nine of the 13.
For Houston, Cole is 5-5 with a 3.72 ERA in 14 starts and also leads the American League with 130 strikeouts. The Astros are 10-2 in Cole’s last 12 starts when the team was a home favorite, with eight of those 12 games going OVER.
The Blue Jays scored a season-most 12 runs against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday and their 20 over their last two games is the best from back-to-back games this season.
The Orioles’ MLB-worst team ERA (5.52) is a full two runs per game higher than Houston’s third-best (3.52), but it might speak to the burgeoning confidence of young hitters such as rookies Vladimir Guerrero (back-to-back 3-for-4 games) and Cavan Biggio, who had his first career two-home run game on Thursday. Overall, the Blue Jays are 28th in MLB in OPS (.663) while the Astros rank second (.809).
Saturday’s game is an all-lefty starting matchup between the Blue Jays’ Clayton Richard (0-2, 7.04) and the Astros’ Framber Valdez (2-2, 2.73).
Righthander Trent Thornton (1-5, 4.78), who developed in the Astros’ farm system, will face Houston on Sunday for the first time since being traded to the Blue Jays. The Astros have yet to name a starter.
Following this series, the Blue Jays host the Los Angeles Angels for a four-game series beginning Monday.