The Angels are scoring a lot of runs, but so are the Blue Jays, who rank second in the Major Leagues with 113 home runs, and Toronto's starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez has pitched well vs. the Angels. Take Toronto on Saturday.
There could be a mild home upset in store in Saturday when Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles (43-34 overall, 21-17 away) take on Henderson Alvarez and the Toronto Blue Jays (39-38 overall, 20-16 home) north of the border as the teams play the third game of a four-game series from Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 1:07 ET.MLB Pick
The money line at Pinnacle Sports has Toronto as a small home underdog for this contest at current odds of +106.
The Angels has been the hottest team in baseball while going 25-9 in their last 34 games, and after spending a good deal of the first couple of months in last place in the American League West, Los Angeles is now up to second place and 5½ games behind the Texas Rangers.
However, after taking the opening game of this series 9-7 on Thursday, the Angels were derailed here 7-5 last night as starter Ervin Santana imploded in the fourth inning and Toronto’s Adam Lind belted two home runs. As hot as the Halos have been offensively, they are now facing a team that can match them in that department.
After scoring seven runs in each of the first two games of this series, the Blue Jays now rank second in the Major Leagues with 113 home runs as a team, and although Toronto is in last place in the American League East, it is still one game over .500, giving the Jays the best record of any last place team in baseball while playing in a loaded division.
The Blue Jays also have a good young pitcher on the mound in Henderson that has proven he can handle the Angels’ lineup. Yes, Henderson has been off of his best form as of late, but facing Los Angeles may be just what he needs to get back on track and fulfill the potential that Toronto management and other executives around baseball see in him.
The 22-year-old tossed a masterpiece the first time he faced the Angels this season, hurling a Complete Game six-hit shutout at Anaheim, requiring only 97 pitches to finish the deal. Furthermore, that makes Alvarez two for two in Quality Starts vs. the Angels in his brief career, as he allowed only three runs on seven hits in seven innings without walking a single batter here in Canada last season.
The Angels counter with a promising youngster of their own in Richards, although this could potentially be his last start before being returned to the minors pending the status of Jered Weaver. Richards has made that decision tougher than it was expected to be by posting an outstanding 1.63 ERA in his four starts, and his huge assortment of pitches gives him a very promising future.
However, he was not sharp in his last outing despite escaping with only allowing three runs, as he allowed nine hits and issued two walks in 6.2 innings. Also, since he allows a lot of ground balls, making his first career start on artificial turf is not an ideal situation.
Look for Henderson to get the best of Richards in this spot, making the Blue Jays the call as small home underdogs on Saturday.
: Blue Jays +106