MLB Betting Preview (July 11): Blue Jays vs. Giants predictions

The Blue Jays have the opportunity to collect a second consecutive series victory with a win Thursday at Oracle Park after a rare offensive explosion in Wednesday’s win.

Kevin Gausman will look to follow up a strong outing in Seattle as he starts versus his former side. Gausman will be opposed by Jordan Hicks, who has struggled to an ERA of 5.32 over his last five starts.

Let’s dive into the game odds for Thursday’s matchup between the Blue Jays and Giants:

Blue Jays vs. Giants odds

Blue Jays Moneyline Odds
Mariners Moneyline Odds
Runline Odds
Blue Jays +1.5 (-210), Giants -1.5 (+175)
Over 7.5 runs (-115), Under 7.5 runs (-105)
July 11, 3:45 p.m. ET
Broadcast: Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet+

Betting Toronto Blue Jays

Given Toronto’s 21-26 record on the road compared to San Francisco’s 26-20 mark at Oracle Park, the Blue Jays being only +105 in this matchup tells us that Gausman is still being power-rated as the slightly better starter in this matchup. Oddsmakers have also been high on Toronto all season though, and the Blue Jays have been one of the least profitable betting sides in the league due to how greatly they have underachieved their preseason power rating.

Gausman pitched six strong innings versus Seattle, allowing just two earned runs and generating ten strikeouts versus an offence highly prone to racking up K’s.

Still, Gausman has remained in unconvincing form over the last six weeks of action. Since the start of June Gausman has made seven starts and pitched to an ERA of 5.27 with an xFIP of 4.15. He has seen his K/9 trend upwards in that time to a mark of 9.49, and does appear to be running somewhat unlucky with a .283 BABIP. Stranding just 67.6% of baserunners has also been a significant concern for Gausman of late.

His arsenal rates out less effectively than in years past, as he holds a Stuff+ rating of 98. He also owns a Location+ rating of 105.

Odds are we won’t see Gausman’s ERA raise from its current mark of 4.64 the rest of the way, but he does appear to be a notably lesser than in seasons past to be sure.

It’s also important to consider how much better Gausman has been on the road, as he owns an ERA of 2.31 in 50 and 2/3 innings away from Rogers Centre this season. He owns an xFIP of 3.35 on the road and has struck out 26.5% of batters, which are both drastically better marks than he holds at home.

Daulton Varsho left last night’s game after a collision at first base and is not likely to be available today, which greatly reduces the Blue Jays’ strong defensive upside. Bo Bichette also left the game with a calf injury and could also be unavailable.

Away from those injuries there were some positives surrounding the Blue Jays lineup in last night’s game. Ernie Clement was the big story once again, as he stayed hot with three hits and four RBIs. Leo Jimenez had strong AB’s after replacing Bichette at shortstop, as he recorded two hits and got four balls in-play averaging 96.4 MPH.

George Springer also continued his recent tear with two hits and three RBIs. Over the last two weeks he owns a wRC+ of 233, a slug-rate of .750, and an OPS of 1.201. He’s raised his average exit velocity to 92.7 over that span, and been rewarded with 16 hits in 52 PAs.

Betting San Francisco Giants

After a strong start to life as a starter at the beginning of the season, things have really gotten ugly for Jordan Hicks of late. In six outings since the beginning of June Hicks has pitched to a 5.27 ERA with an xFIP of 4.46. He has been hard-hit 46% of the time over that span and allowed an xBA of .298.

Hicks does have high-quality stuff (107 Stuff+ rating), but has offered little command for what has become a relatively lengthy sample. He has walked 12% of batters over his last 129 PAs.

The Giants’ offence has hit to a wRC+ of 106 versus right-handed pitching over the last 30 days. They have struck out 23.5% of the time in that span and hard-hit 32.7% of balls.

Predictions for Blue Jays vs Giants

The Giants look like an obvious play in this matchup considering their record at home versus the Jays’ road and the fact that Hicks sports a considerably better ERA than Gausman.

Despite Hicks’ strong start to the season, there is a pretty strong case that he has been the lesser of the two starters. It seems reasonable to have slightly more faith in Gausman figuring it out right now than Hicks, and I would have to agree that the Blue Jays enjoy enough of a pitching edge here to pass on backing the Giants.

Backing this game to go over a low total of 7.5 looks pretty tempting and will be a popular play. It seems likely we see at least one starter struggle badly, and the Blue Jays bullpen continues to look highly unconvincing.

My favourite play lies with backing Springer to stay hot and record over 1.5 total bases. Springer enters in the midst of an absolute tear which features strong underlying numbers. He matches up well with Hicks, who holds reverse splits and is most known for his high-velocity fastballs.

At anything better than +130 there is value backing Springer to record over 1.5 total bases in this matchup.

Best Bet: George Springer Over 1.5 Total Bases +135 (Play to +130)

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Title: MLB Betting Preview (July 11): Blue Jays vs. Giants predictions
Author: Nicholas Martin

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