Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays
When: Friday, April 26, 2019, 7:07 pm Eastern
We have an American League contest to consider for Friday evening when the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays meet for the first of a three-game series. Oakland is in fourth place in the American League West and is planning on right-hander Mike Fiers to toe the rubber. Toronto is in third place in the American League East and righty Marcus Stroman is likely to be on the bump for the Blue Jays. I’m the Flash and will be discussing this game for you today.
Oakland Sweeps the Texas Rangers
Oakland has had plenty of highs and lows already this season but are an above .500 club and is coming off a series sweep of the Texas Rangers and was swept by this Blue Jays club last weekend in Oakland. The Athletics have the second-best offense in the American League and is averaging 4.92 runs per game this season with 41 bombs. The pitching staff ranks eighth in the American League with a team ERA of 4.58 and their 4.95 xFIP suggests maybe this staff has been a bit lucky thus far this season.
— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) April 24, 2019
The Athletics has listed several injuries on their injury report but none they haven’t been dealing with since Spring Training.
Fiers (2-2, 8.51 ERA) is coming off a rough outing to these very same Blue Jays, allowing six earned runs and allowing nine hits with two bombs and four strikeouts in just 3.1 innings pitched for his second loss of the season. Fiers has an 8.51 ERA and his 5.53 xFIP suggests some positive regression might be in store for the right-hander. Fiers per nine innings pitched numbers aren’t very good either; Fiers strikes out 7.20 with 3.60 walks and 2.16 bombs per nine innings pitched. The current Blue Jays have enjoyed some success against Fiers, with two bombs and 5 strikeouts with a .362/.388/.617/.1.005 slash line over 47 at bats.
Oakland ranks 19th in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .164 ISO, wOBA of .314 and wRC+ of 97 with a 19 percent strikeout rate against righties this season.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr Makes Major League Debut This Series
The Blue Jays are rebuilding, and their 11-14 record suggests they still have some work to do if they want to get back to the top of the American League standings. Toronto swept this very same Oakland team last weekend and enter this three-game series dropping both games of their inter-league series with the San Francisco Giants. Toronto is 13th in the American League in offense and is averaging 4.04 runs per game and have hit 26 bombs this season. The Blue Jays pitching staff ranks second in the American League with a team ERA of 3.52 and their team xFIP of 4.29 suggests maybe this pitching staff has been a bit lucky thus far this season.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 25, 2019
Toronto has a lengthy injured list with the most significant being a hamstring issue to shortstop Freddy Galvis that leaves him listed as questionable for Friday night. Galvis leads Toronto with five home runs and 28 hits with a .311 batting average this season.
Stroman (1-3, 1.76 ERA) is coming off a strong, eight-inning performance against this same Oakland side and allowed one earned run with six hits, six strikeouts and two walks for his first victory of the season. Stroman has a 1.76 ERA and his 3.69 xFIP suggests some regression may be in store for Stroman. His numbers per nine are very solid; 8.51 strikeouts and 3.52 walks per nine innings pitched without allowing a single bomb is good numbers. The current Oakland roster has had moderate success over their career against Stroman; one bomb and 10 strikeouts with a slash line of .276/.356/.382/.738 are what the A’s have done against Stroman over 76 at bats.
Toronto ranks 24th in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .168 ISO, wOBA of .298 and wRC+ of 84 with a 27.5 percent strikeout rate this season against right-handers.
- Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. American League West.
- Blue Jays are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 Friday games.
- Athletics are 1-7 in their last 8 games following an off day.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I don’t trust Mike Fiers very much and based on his xFIP, I suspect he’s about to get lit up by the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday night. Stroman has a career ERA of 3.35 and career xFIP of 3.40 at home and is up against a bad offensive Oakland side against righties. We make “Cash with the Flash” when we play the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
Guererro is the real deal as is the Blue Jays success over their career against Fiers. When we add the starting pitchers xFIP together, we have more than nine runs and that’s all we need. I don’t trust the Blue Jays bullpen very much and hopefully, they pitch a bit on Friday night because they are good for a few runs. I saw the following trends I think might be helpful for us on Friday night;
- Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings in Toronto.
- Over is 5-2-1 in the last 8 meetings.
We make “Cash with the Flash” when we play the over on Friday night.
Prediction: Over 8.5 Runs