Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays ALDS Game 2 MLB Odds

Posted by Alex Murphy on October 9, 2015 in

The Toronto Blue Jays are back in the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 1993, thanks to their hard-swinging bats and the boldness to go all out for the highly-sought services of star lefty David Price during the MLB Trade Deadline. But now, the celebrations about reaching the playoffs are over, and the only thing that matters in the MLB betting lines is how the Jays will represent the Toronto diehards in the postseason games, starting with the ALDS Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Price started Thursday’s game and his team lost 5-3, meaning the Jays will be looking up to Marcus Stroman to right the ship against Rangers’ ace deadline acquisition in Cole Hamels. Given that the Rangers have a questionable pitching staff (read that the worst pitching staff among all the playoff teams), the presence of Hamels and against a pitcher not named Price, means that this game offers Texas a big chance to deliver a second successive upset over their hosts. Will the left-handed Hamels and the Rangers seize the opportunity, or will the Blue Jays simply out-slug their way to a victory, as they’ve often done against southpaws? Read on below for a comprehensive breakdown of this crucial clash.

An Inside Scoop on the Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays ALDS Game 2 MLB Odds & TV Info

Starters Pitchers: Cole Hamels vs. Marcus Stroman
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Time: 12:45 PM ET

Though the Rangers (88-74) come into this series as winners of the AL West division, a good number smarts are not fully convinced that they are worth much juice in the MLB odds, considering the AL West competition was somewhat weak. In fact, it was the only division in baseball where the winner had less than 90 wins.

Additionally, the Rangers offense hasn’t been particularly impressive while the pitching staff finished at 23rd in the Major Leagues with a questionable team ERA of 4.25. The good-not-great performances on both ends of the field have been a subject of concern, given that most teams in the Playoffs come with top-performing units in either offense or defense, or both.

In spite of such concerns, the Rangers have been one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season, and collecting 88 wins is never an easy feat, so due credit must be given to them. And as a proof that they belong in the playoffs, they outplayed Price and the Jays in Game 1 for a crucial first victory.

Moreover, Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, is a proven dominant lefty who strikes out more than a batter an inning and is known for his unique ability to alternate a low-to-mid-90s fastball with a lethal changeup.

In his final outing of the season, Hamels threw a complete game to secure a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels, which helped the Rangers to clinch the division. If Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA) can be in his usual strong playoff self, he should be able to give the Rangers a winning chance in this game.

On the opposing side, Stroman is certainly not in the caliber of Price and Hamels, but his perfect 4-0 record this season since his speedy return from a torn ACL, along with a 1.67 ERA, underscores his solid potential to cause trouble to Texas’ middling offense.

Not to forget, the Blue Jays (93-69) are equally motivated to give a memorable performance in the postseason games after sealing their first playoff appearance in over two decades and losing their first game in the series on Thursday Night.

Even more importantly, Stroman will get the support of an explosive Toronto offense that led the Major League this season in home runs (232), total runs (891) and OPS (.797). Meanwhile, the trio of Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista (120 HRs, 348 RBIs combined) is well-tested and proven to specialize in murdering southpaws. Cole Hamels, a true southpaw, will therefore have his hands literally full when he takes to the hill for the Rangers this Friday.

Key Betting Trends

•    Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 6 games
•    Texas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
•    Toronto is 4-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
•    Texas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
•    Texas is 1-3 SU in its last 5 overall games against Toronto
•    Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 6 home games against Texas
•    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto’s last 6 games
•    The total has gone OVER in 13 of Texas’ last 19 games
•    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto’s last 6 home games against Texas
•    The total has gone OVER in 2 of the last 3 games between Texas and Toronto

Rangers at Blue Jays ALDS Game 2 MLB Betting Predictions

It goes without saying that the Blue Jays have many offensive weapons that can score too many runs for Hamels to handle. Added to Stroman’s blazing form since returning from injury, this game doesn’t look favorable for the Rangers. However, having seen Hamels do his thing under pressure and against the toughest of offenses, I’m willing to bet on him to help Texas to a tight win over the Blue Jays this Friday. In the run totals, an UNDER looks likely, with Stroman and Hamels both giving mean defensive performances.