by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Blue Jays, led by their young sluggers, will try to pick up where they left off when they last got to face AL Central competition. The Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals open a weekend series at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday, with odds listed at OddsShark.com.
The two teams did not play each other during the 2020 campaign, but Toronto is 10-4 in its last 14 away games against AL Central teams. Kansas City is 4-10 in its last 14 home games against the AL East, with the OVER hitting 10 times at betting sites. Kansas City is 12-4 in its last 16 home games, with the total going 7-8-1 in those contests.
Blue Jays vs Royals | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Blue Jays are 6-6. With key batters such as Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. heating up and trying to cover for the absence of Teoscar Hernandez (COVID19 protocol), Toronto is scoring 4.5 runs per game. The Blue Jays have a .700 team OPS, 14th in MLB, on a .235 / .311 / .389 batting slash line. The pitching staff, which has lost closer Julian Merryweather to the injured list, is eighth in earned-run average at 3.08. They also have the third-best bullpen ERA (2.28).
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The Royals are 6-4. Kansas City is averaging 4.9 runs per game with a comparable .697 team OPS, 16th in MLB, on .244 / .315 / .383 batting. The Royals’ 4.25 ERA ranks 15th. Their 13th-ranked bullpen (3.95 ERA) is also in the middle of the table.
The Blue Jays had not named their Thursday starter as of the morning, while the Royals have righthander Jakob Junis (0-2, 5.01 ERA, 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings over the 2020-21 seasons) due to make his second start of the season. Righthander Tanner Roark (2-4, 7.28 ERA, 7.6 SO/9 since the start of 2020) is stretched-out to start, but he lasted only three innings in his season debut. The total has also gone OVER in Roark’s last four away starts. Junis is 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA in three career starts against Toronto, and the total has gone UNDER in six of his last 10 starts at home.
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There is an all-lefthander matchup set for Friday, with Toronto’s Steven Matz (2-0, 1.46 ERA, 9.5 SO/9) facing Kansas City’s Mike Minor (1-0, 4.50 ERA, 8.1 SO/9). Matz, a New York Mets castoff who has shown good form through his first two starts for Toronto, has helped the total stay UNDER in 11 of his last 15 starts on the road. In 36 career innings against Toronto, Minor is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA. However, his teams are 6-9 in his last 15 starts at home, with the total going OVER 10 times.
Lefthander Robbie Ray (2-6, 6.35 ERA, 11.3 SO/9 over 2020-21) will start on Saturday opposite Royals righthander Brady Singer (0-2, 6.48 ERA, 11.9 SO in two starts; 4-7, 4.33 ERA, 8.9 SO over ’20-21). Ray allowed two runs over five innings in his season debut against the New York Yankees on Monday, and his teams are 11-9 in his last 20 away starts with the total going OVER four times. The Royals are 2-5 in Singer’s last seven starts at home.
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Ace lefthander Hyun Jin Ryu (1-1, 1.89 ERA, 9/0 S0/9) will face fellow lefty Danny Duffy (2-0, 0.75 ERA, 8.3 SO/9) in Sunday’s series finale. Ryu’s teams are 12-8 in his last 20 away starts, with the total going UNDER in 11 of the last 14. The Royals are 6-2 in Duffy’s last eight starts when they were an underdog at home, but the OVER has hit five times. Duffy is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in seven career starts against Toronto.
The Blue Jays have a travel day on Monday before visiting the Boston Red Sox for a two-game series at Fenway Park.
Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for analysis on this week’s top games. As well, the OddsShark Computer serves up daily MLB picks for bettors.
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