The Toronto Blue Jays host the surging Oakland A’s tonight to open a three game series. Toronto has a season record of 48-47 and over the weekend swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in a three game series. The Blue Jays outscored Boston by a margin of 28-11 in the series even though they were without slugger Jose Bautista. The hard-hitting Bautista had to be put on the disabled list last week due to a nagging wrist injury. In the series finale against Boston, the Blue Jays went deep on four occasions and won 15-7 behind 18 hits, their high for the season.
Oakland has a record of 51-44 due to a July record of 14-2, tops in the league. The A’s are among the league leaders in the race for one of the two wildcard playoff spots. Oakland also owns the best pitching staff in the American League, even though the team’s payroll is the lowest at just $55 million. The A’s have won five straight and with a win tonight will have a season high six.
Toronto will try to quiet the A’s bats with Brett Cecil. The left-hander is 2-2 this season with a 6.34 ERA. He lost his last outing last Tuesday against the New York Yankees 6-1 by giving up three runs in only six innings. In his career, he is 2-2 against the A’s with a 2.79 ERA. Oakland will counter Cecil with Travis Blackley. Blackley is also 2-2 this season, but he has a lower ERA at just 2.86. In his last appearance, he allowed three runs while pitching 5 1/3 innings in a 4-3 defeat of Texas. The southpaw has come a long way since last season where he pitched in Korea.
The line for the game currently has Toronto favored at -130 to Oakland at +120. The total is sitting at 9.5. Take Oakland to win the game to continue their hot play in July. The total was pay out to those taking the OVER.