A’s vs Blue Jays MLB Wild-Card Important Series

A’s vs Blue Jays MLB | Wild-Card Important Series

The Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays are both chasing American League wild-card spots – both could get one and both could miss out – as they open a big series north of the border on Friday. The Blue Jays are short favorites on the MLB odds.

How to Bet A’s at Blue Jays MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Oakland?

The A’s are 19-23 (.452) in one-run games, which is the fourth worst record in the American League. They the AL in one-run losses and rank second in one-run decisions (42).

A’s reliever Lou Trivino has dealt with some back spasms this week but should be available. The 29-year-old right-hander has eight saves since July 11, though his final few outings in August did not go particularly well. He figures to continue to share the closer role in Oakland down the stretch with the likes of Andrew Chafin, Sergio Romo, and Jake Diekman.

Designated hitter Mitch Moreland landed on the injured list this week with left wrist tendinitis. It has been a lingering issue for Moreland, who is batting just .227/.286/.415 in 81 games (252 plate appearances) this season. It is Moreland’s third trip to the IL this season, but his first for this particular injury. Between the loss of Moreland, and the absence of Seth Brown, the A’s roster is even lighter than usual on lefty bats.

It’s lefty Sean Manaea on the mound here – he was originally to pitch Thursday in Detroit but the A’s flopped him with Frankie Montas. Manaea (8-9) allowed five runs on seven hits and no walks with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings in a loss against the Yankees last Friday. Manaea was chased out of this game before completing the fifth inning after giving up five runs and three homers. Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit went deep for solo shots in the fourth inning. A pair of singles in the fifth would put two runners on for Aaron Judge, who sent a three-run homer. Manaea has a 3.97 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 156 strikeouts over 142 2/3 innings.

Manaea went 0-3 with a 9.90 ERA and .344 opponents’ batting average in five starts in August. The ERA was the highest by an Athletics pitcher in a month with 20 or more innings pitched since Carl Scheib posted a 9.99 ERA in July of 1947. Manaea is 2-7 with a 5.28 ERA over his last 12 starts dating back to June 20 after going 6-2 with a 2.99 ERA over his first 14 starts.

Manaea is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA in five career appearances, four starts, against Toronto. He has not faced the Blue Jays since Aug. 1, 2018 when he was the winning pitcher in the A’s 8-3 victory in Oakland.

Why Bet on Toronto?

The Jays remain without third baseman Cavan Biggio. He has a Grade 1 UCL sprain in his left elbow and is considered week-to-week. Biggio hurt that while rehabbing a neck and back injury. Biggio was expected to play an important part in the team’s plans for this season. Instead, injuries have limited his effectiveness, as he has appeared in just 77 games and he was hitting just .215. In many ways, he’s been chasing his season from the jump as finger injuries both in spring training and early in the season hampered him at the plate.

“I do think there’s a window for me to come back,” says Biggio. “That window could be anywhere from a week to a couple of weeks, but I’m looking more on the positive side of things and trying to get back as soon as possible. I understand my year hasn’t gone the way that I wanted it to.”

Marcus Semien has tied his career high with 33 homers, equaling the mark he set in 2019 with Oakland. His 33 bombs lead all second basemen and rank fifth among all MLB hitters. He is ranked second in the Majors with 69 extra-base hits and T-2nd with 278 total bases, trailing only teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (292). Guerrero is on a 10-game hitting streak and batting .350 (14-for-40) with a 2B, 3 HR, and 7 RBI (.995 OPS) in that stretch. Bo Bichette is on a seven-game hit streak and batting .345 over that stretch. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is batting .356 over his past 19 games. Since the All-Star break, Teoscar Hernandez’s 39 RBI trail only Salvador Perez for the most in the American League.

Closer Jordan Romano has not allowed a run over his last 11 games, combining for 11.2 IP, 7H, 2BB, and 19K (.171 AVG, 0.77 WHIP) while converting all 6 save opportunities.

It’s rookie right-hander Alek Manoah (5-2) on the mound here. Manoah surrendered two runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings while taking a no-decision in last Saturday’s 10-inning win over the Tigers. He struck out eight and did not issue a walk. Overall this season, Manoah has now put up a strong 3.15 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 86/25 K/BB ratio in 14 starts covering 74 1/3 innings. His 86 strikeouts are the most by a Blue Jay in his first 14 career games (2nd: Ricky Romero – 77). This will be Manoah’s first time facing Oakland.

Game Trends

  • Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.
  • Athletics are 35-16 in their last 51 Friday games.
  • Blue Jays are 5-12 in their last 17 Friday games.
  • Blue Jays are 2-5 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.
  • Athletics are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Blue Jays 4, A’s 3
   
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