The Toronto Blue Jays hope to avoid getting swept by the Oakland Athletics when they meet for the third straight game on Wednesday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The A’s narrowly defeated the Blue Jays 5-4 in the opening game of this series but held Toronto to just one run in Game 2 to win 4-1. No matter what happens in this game, the A’s have snapped a two-series losing streak. Oakland lost 2-1 each to Baltimore and Tampa Bay last week.
The Toronto Blue Jays looked great with the return of George Springer as they swept the Atlanta Braves last week. However, Toronto has dropped the first two games of this series and will be looking to salvage a victory on Wednesday night. The Blue Jays are 14-14 on the season and are in 4th place in the AL East Division.
In their last game, the Blue Jays were shut down by the A’s Cole Irvin as they managed only three hits and one walk in the game. Toronto scored only one run on a sixth-inning double by Marcus Semien.
Robbie Ray will open on top of the mound for the Blue Jays. Ray has a record of 1-1 in five starts with an ERA of 2.78. Last Friday, Ray picked up his first win of the season against the Atlanta Braves, surrendering only five hits with five strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads Toronto with his .340 batting average. Guerrero is also the team leader in RBIs with 20 and home runs with 7. Randal Grichuk is second in RBIs with 19 while shortstop Bo Bichette also has seven home runs and 17 RBIs on the season.
The Oakland Athletics have won three straight games after going 2-4 last weeks with two series losses. The A’s have secured this series by winning the first two games, including a 4-1 victory on Tuesday. Oakland is 19-12 on the season and they have the best record in the AL West.
Jed Lowrie had a two-run double and the next batter Mitch Moreland connected on a home run that proved to be enough run support for Irvin to pick up the victory. Acquired from the Phillies for cash during the offseason, Irvin allowed only one run on three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts.
Chris Bassitt will take the mound for the A’s in Game 3. The 32-year old right-hander 2-2 in six starts this season with an ERA of 3.93 and a WHIP of 1.28. In his most recent start last Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays, Bassitt allowed two runs on four hits and one walk in six innings while striking out nine. He has a total of 36 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched this season.
Matt Olson leads the A’s with a batting average of .290 and seven home runs with 19 RBIs. Jed Lowrie has RBIs to lead the team. Centerfielder Ramon Laureano has contributed 14 RBIs and six home runs while Mitch Moreland has 14 RBIs and four homers this season.
Toronto is 5-2 in their last seven games played. However, the Blue Jays are 24-49 in their last 73 games as road underdogs, 17-35 in their last 52 road games when the total is set between 7.0-8.5, 20-44 in their last 64 road games against an opponent with a winning record, 3-7 in their last 10 games on the road against a right-handed starter, and 1-5 in their last six games against the American League West.
Oakland is 17-5 in their last 22 games played. The A’s are 10-2 in their last 12 home games, 4-0 in their last four games against an opponent with a winning record, 16-5 in their last 21 games played on grass, and 47-16 in their last 63 games against a right-handed starter. Oakland is also 37-15 in their last 52 Game 3s of a series.
The Blue Jays have won six out of their last eight meetings against the Athletics. However, the A’s have taken the most recent two, which happened to be Game 1 and 2 of this three-game set.
Ray is having a strong start if you look at his ERA but his 4.83 FIP shows that he isn’t likely to sustain his early run. On the other hand, Bassitt has been known as a pitcher who relies on his deceptive mix rather than raw stuff but in his last 18 innings, he’s produced 25 strikeouts while allowing only two runs in his last four starts.
After losing back-to-back series to the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles last week, the A’s are back on track. Oakland is displaying strong statistical numbers in almost every facet and every hitter is batting at an above-average level. I think that Oakland’s hitters will score enough runs off Ray to provide Bassitt with the run support to win this game.
Prediction: Oakland Athletics
The total has gone over in five out of the last seven games played by the Blue Jays. The over is 4-1-1 in their last six games played on grass, 3-1-1 in their last five games against a right-hander, and 4-1 in their last five road games when the total is set between 7.0- 8.5 or lower.
The total has gone over in four out of the last five home games played by the Angels. The over is also 5-1 in Oakland’s last six home games as favorites, 4-1 in their last five games when the total is set between 7.0-8.5, 5-2 in their last seven games against an opponent with a winning record, and 11-4 in their last 15 Game 3s of a series.
Head to head, the total has gone over in six out of their last nine meetings in Oakland.
The previous game ended with only a total of five runs but don’t expect a repeat of yesterday’s pitching performance. These two teams are among the leaders in home runs in the league and they are among the upper half in most of the offensive statistical categories in the majors.
The A’s have the power and patience to take advantage of Ray’s notoriety of having one of the highest walk rates in the Majors. Meanwhile, Semien looks to have broken out of his early slump and the Blue Jays should bounce back from their one-run effort on Tuesday.
Prediction: Over 8
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