Light card on the horizon for Monday MLB picks especially in the National League. That is why our primary focus will be in the American League and contests with divisional implications.
These are all series openers and we will check on the hunted and the hunter against the sportsbooks betting odds and which team and starting pitcher might be the best choice for sports picks.
The good news for the Blue Jays was winning 14 of 16 brought them back into the AL East race, but losing their last two games at home after that hot stretch has left them three games behind first place Tampa Bay. Toronto heads south to attempt to move even closer and winning this contest in very important if they want to win the series because they face Chris Archer tomorrow.
This places the onus on Drew Hutchison (6-1, 5.33 ERA) to come up with a big effort. Despite an outstanding record, the right-hander has been the benefactor of several games in which his teammates have scored plenty of runs. In fact, Toronto has won four of Hutchinson’s seven road starts despite him having a humongous 9.48 ERA. He has surrendered eight of his 10 home runs in away games.
Tampa Bay has also been piping hot, winning eight of 10 to take over first place and will utilize Matt Andriese (2-1, 3.26). The Rays righty will face a potent Toronto lineup which averages a baseball-best 5.5 runs a game.
Have to admit it is surprising to see the Blue Jays as -125 favorites. Hutchison has a 6.31 ERA in five career starts against the Rays and his team has a 1-6 mark against Tampa Bay this season, accounting the for the difference in the standings. Also, as a baseball handicapper I cannot overlook the fact the Jays are 3-13 away against a good bullpen that converts 75 percent or more of their save opportunities this season.
Advantage – Andriese and Tampa Bay
While Father’s Day has just passed, both the Tigers and Indians could still catch AL Central front-runner Kansas City, but they need to start showing signs they are more than .500 clubs. However, if you recall, the win totals for these two teams were nothing special despite being the favorites, with each projected to win 84 games.