One day after beating Justin Verlander, the Toronto Blue Jays will look to make it two straight wins over the Houston Astros. Despite losing Monday’s game to Toronto, the Houston Astros are huge favorites at -260 over Toronto in this game on Tuesday.
The Astros are currently tied with the Red Sox for the most wins in baseball with 52. They hold a steady 3.5-game lead over the Mariners in the AL West. That lead is mainly the result of their 12-game winning streak earlier this month. The Astros have leveled off over the past week, going 3-3 since that streak ended.
Toronto, meanwhile, is riding a three-game winning streak. The Blue Jays have also won seven of their last 10 games. Of course, that’s only been good enough to get them to four games under .500 and 10.5 games of a wild-card spot. They are still a team that will likely be sellers at the trade deadline.
The Other Ace
Verlander and Gerrit Cole have received much of the praise for the Astros this season, but Tuesday’s starter Charlie Morton has been nearly as good. In 15 starts this year, Morton is 9-1 with a 2.74 ERA. He’s somehow been even better than his surprisingly good season in 2017. With a win on Tuesday, Morton would beat both Verlander and Cole in the race to be the first Astros pitcher to win 10 games.
Aside from having a great year, Morton also has excellent career numbers against most of Toronto’s hitters. Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin, Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar, and Justin Smoak are a combined 2 for 31 against Morton. That’s troubling for the Blue Jays, as Granderson, Morales, and Smoak are carrying the offense at the moment. The only real threat the Blue Jays have could be Steve Pearce, who is 4 for 7 against Morton.
Time For Your Debut
The Blue Jays are expected to call up lefty Ryan Borucki to make his major league debut against the Astros. According to MLB.com, Borucki is Toronto’s no. 8 prospect. The 6’4’’ southpaw is said to have excellent control and an impressive changeup. In 13 starts at triple-A this year, Borucki is 6-5 with a 3.27 ERA with opposing batters hitting .221 against him.
By all indications, Borucki has a chance to be a solid back of the rotation starting pitcher. However, he’s being thrown to the wolves by making his first major league start against one of the most unforgiving lineups in baseball. The Astros have no noteworthy injuries, so Borucki will be facing their best lineup. Some of Houston’s best hitters have cooled down over the past week, but Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick, and Yuli Gurriel have all remained hot.
State the Obvious
The odds are noticeably stacked against Borucki and the Blue Jays in this game. With the line at -260, there is far more upside in taking the Blue Jays to win. But with the way Morton has pitched this season, his career numbers against Toronto’s hitters, and the Blue Jays starting a rookie against such a powerful lineup. Take the Houston Astros -260 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.