Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays odds, picks and predictions

SPORTSBOOKWIRE

The Houston Astros (10-9) begin a 3-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays (13-7) at Rogers Centre Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook‘s lines around the Astros vs. Blue Jays odds with MLB picks and predictions.

Houston won three straight at the Texas Rangers after dropping the series opener earlier this week but the Astros lost four consecutive games April 19-23, two versus Toronto.

The Blue Jays are 7-3 overall in their last 10 games and have won four straight series over the Boston Red Sox (twice), Astros and Oakland Athletics.

Season series: Toronto leads 2-1 and has outscored Houston 14-13.

Astros at Blue Jays projected starters

RHP Jose Urquidy vs. LHP Yusei Kikuchi

Urquidy (1-1, 5.52 ERA) took a no-decision in Houston’s 3-2 home loss to the Blue Jays Saturday after going 5 2/3 IP with 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB with 3 K.

  • 2021 vs. the Blue Jays: 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA (11 1/3 IP, 8 ER), 13 H, 4 HR, 1 BB and 7 K across 2 starts.
  • vs. the Blue Jays on the current roster: 6.34 FIP with a .277 expected batting average (xBA), .357 expected wOBA (xwOBA), .510 expected slugging percentage (xSLG), 16.7 K% and 91.3 mph exit velocity (EV) in 48 plate appearances (PA).

Kikuchi (0-1, 3.75 ERA) got a no-decision in Toronto’s 8-7 loss at the Astros Sunday, throwing 3 2/3 IP and surrendering 2 ER (4 R) on 3 H and 5 BB with 4 K.

  • 2021 vs. the Astros: 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA (30 1/3 IP, 19 ER), 5 HR, 1.45 WHIP and 6.8 K/9 over 6 starts.
  • vs. the Astros on the current roster: 6.11 FIP with a .270 xBA, .385 xwOBA, .519 xSLG, 15.4 K% and 91.6 mph EV in 169 PA.

Astros at Blue Jays odds and lines

  • Money line (ML): Astros +100 (bet $100 to win $100) | Blue Jays -120 (bet $120 to win $100)
  • Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Astros +1.5 (-205) | Blue Jays -1.5 (+165)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 8.5 (O: -105 | U: -120)

Astros at Blue Jays picks and predictions

Prediction

Astros 5, Blue Jays 4

Money line

LEAN ASTROS (+100) only because I prefer their First 5-Inning RL, which I’ll discuss below and Houston’s bullpen has poor pitching peripherals whereas Toronto’s bullpen grades out as one of the American League’s best.

However, there’s a line freeze in the betting market that makes the Astros seem like a sharp bet. Most of the cash and bets are on Toronto but the line hasn’t moved off the opener according to pregame.com, which is suspicious.

The Astros are also 6-2 overall versus left-handed starters, one of those victories was last week against Kikuchi who’s a pitcher Houston is familiar with because Kikuchi pitched for the Seattle Mariners from 2019-21.

LEAN ASTROS (+100) for the full game since I prefer Houston’s First 5-Inning lines more.

Run line/Against the spread

BET the ASTROS +0.5 FIRST 5-INNING RUN LINE (-140) because they rake Kikuchi but the Blue Jays have a much better bullpen and I’m worried Toronto could sneak in the backdoor versus Houston’s weak bullpen.

Houston’s hitting numbers against lefties would be far more impressive if it weren’t for bad luck. The Astros are 29th in BABIP versus left-handed pitching (.208) but that should turn around since they are fourth in BB/K rate (0.51) and third in hard-hit rate (33.8%), per FanGraphs.

You could make a case for Houston’s -0.5 alternate First 5-Inning RL (+130) but since Urquidy has been shaky to start 2022, I’ll stick with the ASTROS +0.5 FIRST 5-INNING RUN LINE (-140) to be safe.

Over/Under

PASS because the Over 8.5 (-105) feels too easy with two below-average starters on the mound versus two powerful lineups and the House is trying to entice more Over action by making that side cheaper. The Under has also cashed in four of the past five Astros-Blue Jays meetings.

Author: Lucy Green