Toronto Bluejays vs. Oakland A’s Preview and Pick

Toronto Blue Jays (20-11) Scott Richmond -108, 9 O/U at Oakland
Athletics (10-16) Josh Outman -102, 9 O/U, Oakland-Alameda County
Coliseum, Oakland, Calif., 10:05 PM EST, Friday

by Badger of

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Scott Richmond will try and continue
his perfect season Friday night as the Jays begin a three-game series
with the Oakland As in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The As will
counter with righty Josh Outman, making his fourth start since coming
out of the bullpen.

Richmond, the 29-year-old rookie who made the Jays roster almost by
default, will be looking to improve to 5-0 on the season with another
quality start against the As. Hell be on the bump for a Blue Jays
team that enters the series opener as winners of five of their last
seven games despite yesterdays 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.


The As avoided another series sweep yesterday with a 9-4 victory
over Texas, snapping a 4-game losing streak in the process, as the
offense finally came alive. Jack Cust hit a grand slam and Matt
Holliday added a 3-run homer as the As nine run outburst became
their new season-high tally in the win.

Oddsmakers have given Toronto and Richmond a slight edge in this
game, listing them as low as -108 favorites on the dimeline at to as high as -120 favorites at other offshore
sportsbooks. The As are listed anywhere from -102 to even money
depending on your house. The over/under total is listed at 9 across
the books.

Richmond has teamed with Roy Halliday to anchor the Jays tattered
rotation, putting up numbers like a 2.67 ERA and a .291 opponents on-
base percentage that are reminiscent of Hallidays dominant stuff.
The Jays have won all five of his starts, including his last outing
on Sunday when he went seven innings of 5-hit, 3-run ball in a 4-3
win over Baltimore.

Richmond will be facing an Oakland offense that ranks last in all of
baseball in team OPS (.653) and homeruns (15), or near last in
several more (.238 BA 28th; 11 SB 28th). Although the As could
be going on a tear at the plate right now, fueled by Cust and
Holliday. Cust is 6-for-12 in his last three games and Holliday is
finally producing as an A as he has hit four homeruns in his last 8

The big problem facing the As tonight is trying to contain the Blue
Jays offense, the leagues top-ranked lineup in the early season. Not
only are the Jays tops in runs per game (6.13) and team batting
average (.292), but the slug too as they are 2nd in OPS and 3rd with
41 homeruns on the season. A tall task for any pitcher, but
especially for the As Outman.

Outman has yet to earn a decision this season, mainly because hes a
reliever pressed into starting duty and he barely makes it into the
5th inning. His last outing against Seattle was his longest of the
season (6 IP), and his best as well as he only allowed 2 runs on 4
hits and left the game with a 4-2 lead. One of his previous starts
this season was against the Jay, back on April 17th, when he lasted
only four innings while giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks. He
also gave up two homeruns, to Marco Scutaro and Aaron Hill, but left
the game long before it was eventually turned into an 8-5 Oakland win.

Last year Toronto won two of the three games played in Oakland, part
of the reason the Jays are 8-1 against the As in the last nine overall.

Betting on the total is risky if you follow the trends, as they are
all over the place. The under has prevailed in 8 of the last 11 games
head-to-head overall, including in two of the three games played this
year. But Oakland-Alameda Coliseum tends to play a little small, as
its actually the over that is 7-3-1 in the last 10 in the As park.

Badgers Pick: I like the Jays here, as I just dont think Outman is
going to be able to do much against the Jays red-hot lineup. Take
Toronto at -108 in a game I think goes over the total too.