The Toronto Blue Jays play their first road game of the new season on Thursday as they embark on a six-game road trip and visit the Cleveland Indians for the lone time in 2019. The Indians are favored in the series opener on the MLB lines.
How to Bet Blue Jays vs Indians MLB Odds & Game Info
- When: Thursday, 6:10 PM ET
- Where: Progressive Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Aaron Sanchez/Trevor Bauer
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Odds: Cleveland Indians -185 / Toronto Blue Jays +165 (Total 7)
Why Bet on Toronto?
The Jays already have made another trade, sending outfielder Kevin Pillar to San Francisco for infielder Alen Hanson and right-handers Derek Law and Juan De Paula. Pillar doesn’t hit much but is a fabulous defender and was Toronto’s longest-tenured player.
The Jays are in rebuilding mode and wanted to open a spot for Anthony Alford, one of the team’s top prospects. Alford was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. The Jays could have held onto Pillar in hopes that he’d turn in a quality first half and become a mid-season trade chip, but will instead drop his $5.8 million salary. Law and Hanson might help the Jays a bit as roster depth. De Paula is a solid prospect.
Hanson was designated for assignment by the Giants last week after failing to make the Opening Day roster. Law made just seven appearances for the Giants last season, but he pitched well in the minors and has had some success in the majors before.
Toronto starts ace Aaron Sanchez here. Sanchez tossed five-plus scoreless innings in his last outing vs. Detroit. The most encouraging sign of all was that Sanchez sat at 95 mph on his fastball, and maxed out at 97.1. That’s up from approximately 93.7 in 2018. He had a lot of trouble throwing his curveball during each of the last two seasons, because of blister issues on his right hand. It wasn’t a problem against the Tigers, as Sanchez went to the offspeed pitch 16 times, which at 18 percent of the time was much higher than last year’s usage of 12.
“He was outstanding,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He looked just like he did in Spring Training. He was commanding all of his pitches. He was throwing 96-97, which is great news, and he was in control the whole time. … [It tells me] that he’s good to go. That he’s where he was two years ago, which is great news for all of us. Really happy to see that.” It was Sanchez’s first scoreless outing since he tossed five effective innings against the Angels on May 23, 2018, and his first victory since Sept. 18 of the same year.
- Runs: 3.29
- Hits: 6.43
- Walks: 2.43
- Strike Outs: 7.71
- Runs: 2.43
- Hits: 6.14
- Walks: 2.86
- Strike Outs: 11.43
Why Bet on Cleveland?
The Tribe remains without one of the best young players in baseball in shortstop Francisco Lindor. He hasn’t played yet and isn’t expected to until likely late April. The 25-year-old sustained an acute left ankle sprain while running the bases during a minor-league intrasquad game last Tuesday. Lindor spent all spring rehabbing a strained right calf that he injured while training just before camp opened on Feb. 12.
The three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and 2016 Gold Glover was stellar in 2018, hitting .277 with 38 homers, 92 RBI, 129 runs and 25 stolen bases. Those numbers placed him sixth in the MVP voting, though it was the third straight season he finished in the top 10. The Indians have started two shortstops in place of Lindor: Eric Stamets and Max Moroff. Both, frankly, stink, especially on offense. Cleveland as a whole has struggled on offense in the early going.
Outfielder Bradley Zimmer, who opened the year on the disabled list because of his surgically-repaired right shoulder, has been slowed by an injury to his side. Second baseman Jason Kipnis is also on the injured list, dealing with a calf problem. He’s expected to be out throughout most of April. Brad Miller has been handling second base duties in Kipnis’s place. Some good news this week: the team signed manager Terry Francona to a two-year contract extension that will run through 2022.
It’s expected to be Trevor Bauer in this series opener. Bauer was great in a no-decision against the Twins on Saturday, allowing just one run on one hit over seven strong innings. Bauer punched out nine on the afternoon while issuing just one free pass.
The only hit that he allowed in the game was a one-out triple to Jorge Polanco in the fourth inning, who proceeded to score on a ground out by Nelson Cruz. The 28-year-old Bauer looked every bit as good as he did when he posted a 2.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 221:57 K:BB in 2018.
- Runs: 2.60
- Hits: 5.00
- Walks: 3.20
- Strike Outs: 11.60
- Runs: 4.60
- Hits: 7.40
- Walks: 2.80
- Strike Outs: 9.40
Blue Jays vs Indians MLB Betting Trends
- Blue Jays are 6-1 in Sanchez’s last 7 starts vs. American League Central
- Blue Jays are 5-1 in Sanchez’s last 6 starts
- Indians are 46-20 in their last 66 Thursday games
- Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Cleveland
Expert Final Score Prediction for Blue Jays vs Indians
Toronto Blue Jays 3 – Cleveland Indians 4