The Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays will close out a four-game series on Sunday night ad TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida. Los Angeles won the first two games of the series before Toronto got on the board in blowout fashion on Saturday night with a 15-1 win to cash in as a -107 favorite. Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak with the win to move to 4-5 on the young season, while the Angels are off to a good start at 6-3.
Los Angeles has now won eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings and has taken the season series every year dating back to 2015.
Angels hot streak comes to an end in emphatic fashionThe Angels are one of the best teams in the Majors in the early going, as a star-studded lineup is raking and a revamped pitching staff looks much improved from the past several years, but unraveled in every facet in a blowout loss on Saturday. Los Angeles was down 10-0 through three innings as rough outings by Jose Quintana and Jaime Barria were compounded by three errors, and a solo shot by Anthony Rendon was the only scoring the Angels had for the game.
The first home run of the season for Anthony Rendon! pic.twitter.com/cFTSE8oICP— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) April 11, 2021
Rendon went 2-4 and Shohei Ohtani added a triple in a game where the Angels only had six hits. Quintana was charged with the loss as he allowed five earned runs in 1.2 innings on five hits, four walks and four strikeouts. Junior Guerra was the lone bright spot with 3.1 scoreless innings allowing only one hit in relief.
Los Angeles has been a profitable team to bet on so far, as it is 5-4 against the spread and hasn't been a bigger favorite than -123 in any of its games so far. Overs are now above .500 at 5-4 for the Angels, as Toronto easily covered the over by itself on Saturday night.
Entering Saturday's game, the Angels were one of the most prolific offenses in MLB with 5.87 runs per game and had clubbed 12 home runs as a team. Los Angeles made numerous additions to address a shaky pitching staff over the offseason, resulting in a collective 4.26 ERA and 11.31 K/9 mark, which ranks third in the Majors.
Veteran Alex Cobb will make his second start for the Angels after a solid debut with the team last weekend, when he held the White Sox to three earned runs on eight hits and one walk over six innings while striking out seven. Mike Trout is off to a hot start even by his lofty standards, batting .429/.568/.580 with three home runs, six RBI and eight runs scored.
Outfielder Dexter Fowler sprained his knee running the bases on Friday and will be out at least 10 days, although the injury isn't as serious as it looked. Infielder Franklin Barreto is currently on the 60-day IL with elbow inflammation and won't be eligible to return for several weeks. Reliever Felix Pena should return in the coming days from a strained hamstring, while it was recently announced fellow reliever Luke Bard will be out for the season with a hip injury. Bullpen mate Ty Buttrey is currently on the Restricted List after announcing he was stepping away from the game last week.
Blue Jays bats finally wake upAfter winning three of their first four games including a series victory over the AL East favorite New York Yankees, the shorthanded Blue Jays hit a major slump, so Saturday's 15-run outburst was needed badly. With three runs already in, Randal Grichuk hit a bases-clearing double to break things open in the second, and Bo Bichette later added a pair of two-run doubles.
We're in the 4th inning.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 11, 2021
Bo Bichette already has FIVE RBI 😳 pic.twitter.com/AIhxRKwIPn
Santiago Espinal with 3-5 with a double and an RBI, Bichette was 2-4 with five RBI, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in three. Steven Matz was excellent for the second straight start, holding the Angels to one run on five hits across six innings while striking out four.
Toronto is also 4-5 against the spread, although two of their wins are as an underdog of +161 or more as they took the opening series from the Yankees. Overs are still just 3-6 for the Blue Jays, but two of their three games in this series have gone over the betting total.
Heading into Saturday's game, the Blue Jays were averaging just 3.25 runs per game and were hitting .202 as a team, a disappointing showing for a young lineup that made some big strides in 2020, so Saturday's outburst could be huge for momentum. Toronto pitching is mid-pack with a 4.63 ERA, headlined by holding the Yankees to eight runs across three games to win the opening series.
Tanner Roark will take the ball after was shelled by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, allowing five earned runs on six hits in three innings while taking a loss. Guerrero Jr. is off to a hot start in what the Blue Jays hope is a breakout season, batting .360/.515/.640 line with two homers and five RBI.
The Blue Jays injury list is extensive, headlined by free-agent acquisition George Springer, who was set to return this week from an oblique injury but is being held out for longer after feeling some quad tightness. Fellow outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, the team's best hitter last season, is on the COVID list due to contact tracing and won't be available. Starting pitchers Robbie Ray (elbow contusion) and Nate Pearson (groin) aren't ready to make their season debuts yet. Closer Kirby Yates is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery late in Spring Training. Relievers Tyler Chatwood (triceps), Ryan Borucki (contact tracing) and Thomas Hatch (elbow) are also out.
Trends via Covers.com. Toronto is:
- 27-65 in its last 92 games against a team with a record above .600
- 0-4 in its last four games overall.
Los Angeles is:
- 5-1 in its last six games overall.
- 5-2 in its last seven games against teams with a record under .400.
- 8-1 in the last nine head-to-head meetings with Toronto.