MLB Game Preview: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays

Jun 5, 2023

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Game: Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays

Time: 7:07 p.m.

Odds: Astros +112, Blue Jays -122

Total: 10

When they kick off a four-game series against the visiting Houston Astros on Monday night, the Toronto Blue Jays will attempt to extend their winning streak to five games. The Blue Jays defeated the New York Mets 6-4 to keep the streak alive and complete a three-game sweep. Brandon Belt hit a tie-breaking two-run home run in the seventh inning.

The Astros took the first three games of their series with the Los Angeles Angels this weekend but failed to complete the sweep with a 2-1 loss on Sunday. Astros 2B Jose Altuve missed the final two games of the series due to an oblique injury. He ran sprints and practiced fielding before the game on Sunday but did not hit at all. He was listed as day-to-day. After breaking his right thumb in the World Baseball Classic, Altuve missed the first 43 games of the season. May 19 marked the start of his season.

Brandon Bielak (2-2, 3.19 ERA), a right-hander for the Astros, is set to make his first start against Toronto. He has never faced the Blue Jays in his career.  In his last three starts, Bielak has won twice, most recently defeating the Minnesota Twins 5-1 on Tuesday. Over 5.2 innings, he allowed three hits and one run.

Alek Manoah (1-6, 5.46) will get the ball for the Blue Jays. On April 23, 2022, Manoah made his lone previous start against the Astros, pitching six innings of two-run ball to earn the victory. Manoah lost his last two starts after giving up seven runs—six of them earned—over the course of a combined seven innings. His lone victory this season came on April 5.

Yainer Diaz, who was starting at first base for the second time this season, hit a home run on Sunday, which was the Astros’ lone run. Jose Abreu, the regular first baseman, had the day off. Diaz, a catcher who has recently been practicing at first base, found the start at first to be a challenge. He was great at the plate though with a double in addition to his homer.

On Sunday, the Blue Jays’ first baseman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., showed more promising signs. Guerrero, who was playing first base while Belt batted cleanup, hit his ninth home run of the year in the third inning and singled before Belt’s home run in the seventh.

Guerrero’s home run was his first since May 23, when he hit a grand slam in a rout off of position player Luke Raley (1B/OF) of the Tampa Bay Rays. Sunday marked Guerrero’s first homer against a pitcher since May. Guerrero has yet to hit a home run at home in Toronto this season.

Both teams have been playing well as of late. Toronto is now 6-1 SU in its last seven games. Houston has won 15 of its last 20 games. The Blue Jays are 15-10 at home this season, but just 2-5 in their last seven home games.

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