Both Tom Milone of the Athletics and Aaron Laffey of the Blue Jays are coming off of a couple of shaky outings, but the Toronto offense seems much better equipped to score some runs, making Toronto the upset choice on Sunday.
Look for a nice upset on Sunday afternoon when Aaron Laffey and the Toronto Blue Jays (52-55 overall, 24-32 away) take on Tom Milone and the Oakland Athletics (58-49 overall, 32-24 home) as the teams wrap up a four-game weekend series from O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 4:05 ET.MLB Pick
The money line at Bodog has Toronto as a nice-sized underdog for this contest at current odds of +155.
The Athletics are one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season as they are in second place in the American League West at 5½ games behind the Texas Rangers despite ranking dead last in the Major Leagues with a .229 batting average. They also lead the majors in walk-off wins and have an 18-12 record in one-run games though, so their luck is bound to run out soon and they should start to regress.
That regression may have already begun as Oakland lost two out of three to the Tampa Bay Rays to begin this home stand and then, after taking the first two games of this series, it received a dose of its own medicine yesterday by blowing a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning and losing 3-1 in extra innings.
There should continue to be days when the Athletics simply do not score given that the offense is not really improving, as Oakland is hitting just .216 overall in the last 10 games. Now granted, the A’s lead the American League with a 3.42 team ERA, but the starters are starting to wilt a bit while bearing the burden of having to carry this team, and that includes Milone.
The southpaw is 9-8 with a nice 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP overall, but he has not pitched well in his last two outings, including a start vs. these Blue Jays in Toronto where he allowed six runs on eight hits in seven innings, followed up by an outing vs. the Rays Tuesday where he was reached for five runs on seven hits in six innings right here at home.
He is facing a Toronto lineup that may be batting an ordinary .252 vs. left-handed pitchers this year, but the Blue Jays are producing runs against them at a nice clip of 4.88 runs per nine innings. Of course it helps that Toronto ranks second in the Major League with 150 home runs, trailing only the New York Yankees who are at 167.
Speaking of home runs, David Cooper hit a game-tying home run off of Ryan Cook in the ninth inning yesterday before the Jays scored twice in the 11th inning for the 3-1 victory. They now turn to Laffey today who, like Milone, is coming off of a pair of sub-par outings over which he allowed a total of 11 runs on 14 hits in 10.1 innings. However, Laffey does figure to get the better run support between these two pitchers today.
Besides, Laffey has done his best pitching on the road this season as he has a 3.49 ERA away from home, and he could not have asked for a better lineup against whom to get well against.
Add in the fact that Oakland seems overpriced for a team that cannot hit and Toronto gets the call at a generous price on Sunday.
: Blue Jays +155