Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where and when: June 20, 2019, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 6:07 PM ET
The Los Angeles Angels will attempt to put the finishing touches on the struggling Toronto Blue Jays in Thursday’s closeout game of the ensuing four-game series. After winning the first couple games in the series, the Angels are positioned to deliver the knockout blow to the 26-win Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays’ left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard will do his best to keep that from happening when he starts on the mound opposite of the Angels’ righty Jose Suarez.
Can the Angels stay consistent?
Mike Trout is the modern-day Babe Ruth.
Biased baseball historians are no doubt rolling their eyes at the mere thought of anyone ever being compared to “The Bambino.” I’m not shouting to the heavens that Trout is better or anything like that, but I am scratching my head wondering how such a talented player could be wasted on an Angels team that constantly hover around .500 win percentage.
Surely, I wasn’t the only one thinking that after witnessing the two-time AL MVP crack two homers over the wall in the first four innings of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays, including a grand slam home run.
Wallet full, bases empty. pic.twitter.com/SdtGuOnwpa
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 20, 2019
It was a beautiful display of hitting power, but we all know none of it will even matter in the end when the Angels win 80 games and miss the playoffs again. They currently sit in fourth place in the AL West with 38 wins behind the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics.
Suarez will try to lend a helping arm when he starts on the mound against the Blue Jays on Thursday. He helped the Angels upend the Tampa Bay Rays in his most recent outing. In five-plus innings on the mound, he allowed five hits and three earned runs to the Rays. It was only his second big-league performance after losing to the Seattle Mariners.
Winning drought at home continues for the Blue Jays
So much for home being where the heart is for the struggling Blue Jays. It’s hard to make that assessment after they managed to lose seven consecutive games at Rogers Centre. Home is where losing is at for the Blue Jays, who are 12-25 when playing in their house. It truly is a shame considering how passionate and patient the fan base has been after consecutive losing seasons.
With them playing in one of the toughest divisions in baseball in the AL East, it would take nothing short of a miracle for them to turn things around at this point. Not much can be expected of a team that is bad on defense and averaging only 3.92 runs per game. There is no Trout sitting in the Toronto dugout with the gift of hope for fans.
What you see is what you get with the Blue Jays.
An 0-3 series isn’t exactly the best entry for Richard, but he will try to make the most of it during his start on Thursday. The left-handed pitcher is throwing a 7.52 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 20.1 innings this season. He’ll be facing an uphill climb considering he’s already given a combined 12 earned runs in his last seven-plus innings on the mound against the Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Blue Jays are 1-7 in their last 8 games against teams in the American League West
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in Richard’s last 5 starts following a team loss in the previous game
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in Richard’s last 5 starts
- Blue Jays are 3-8 in their last 11 during game 4 of a series
- Angels are 11-3 in their last 14 games against teams in the American League East
- Angels are 7-2 in their last 9 overall
- Angels are 21-7 in their last 28 road games against a team with a home winning % of less than .400
- Angels are 5-2 in their last 7 Thursday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Blue Jays put up a valiant effort to stave off a third straight loss to the Angels on Wednesday, but they ultimately weren’t able to get the job done. It’s hard to envision them doing any better on Thursday in a closeout game with Richard on the mound. The 35-year-old veteran has yet to win a game this season, and the Angels have only won one game in the five times he’s made an appearance on the mound.
He’s not wearing the red cape in this scenario to potentially save them from a four-game sweep. The truth is no one can save the Blue Jays at this point. They’ve played better baseball on the road than they’ve played at home, and the Angels seem determined to close the distance on the A’s in the AL West standings.
The mere thought of Richard pitching against Trout, Tommy La Stella and David Fletcher would be enough to give me cold sweats at night if I were Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. Those nightmares will become reality on Thursday when Trout knocks another pitch over, and the Angels complete the sweep.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels (-161)
Full-Game Total Pick
Richard will be giving up runs left and right early in the game before the Blue Jays finally decide they’ve seen enough. The Angels have their issues on defense, but they are a very explosive offensive team when Trout gets going. There’s no better show in baseball right now. I like the over betting total here.
Prediction: Over (10)