MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Athletics

Jul 4, 2022

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Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Oakland Athletics

Time: 9:07 p.m. ET

Odds:  Blue Jays -245, Athletics +205

Total: 7.5

The Toronto Blue Jays are coming off a five-game series with Tampa Bay. Toronto looked good in winning the first two games 4-1 and 9-2 but fell apart to lose the final three and the series. Now, they will get a crack at one of the worst teams in baseball. Oakland has one win in its last seven games and got swept by the Yankees. They also blew yet another save opportunity on Saturday night in a 2-1 loss to Seattle. The A’s followed that up yesterday with another 2-1 loss to the Mariners.

Tonight, the A’s lineup must face one of the best pitchers in baseball. Toronto’s Alek Manoah is one of the top three favorites to win this year’s AL Cy Young Award. Manoah is 9-2 this season with a 2.09 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. If Manoah has had a tough stretch this season, it has been his last three starts. He has given up nine earned runs in 19 innings and the Blue Jays lost two of the three. Prior to that, Manoah had allowed just six earned in five starts all of which were Toronto victories.

Manoah will face an Oakland lineup that is dreadful. Oakland ranks 29th in runs per game at 3.15 and if not for the equally terrible Detroit Tigers (3.00) the A’s would be last. Oakland ranks dead last in OPS and in the bottom-5 of most other statistical categories. No team has been shut out more than the A’s this season. In their last series against Seattle, Oakland scored one run in each game. In fact, over their last 11 games, the A’s have scored a single run six times.

Oakland will counter with left-hander Cole Irvin who is 2-6 on the season. Irvin has a 3.58 ERA and in each of his last two starts he gave up two earned runs and struck out six batters. The A’s lost to Boston and beat Milwaukee. The issue for Irvin is a Toronto batting order loaded with talent.

First off, the Blue Jays rank fourth in OPS (.787) against left-handed pitchers. Toronto has 10 hitters with at least 10 doubles and five more that have at least 10 home runs. George Springer is still gunning for the MLB record for lead-off home runs in a season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 19 homers so far. Irvin will have a tough time with the Blue Jays.

Manoah actually already has a win over Oakland this season. Back in April, Manoah went six innings, allowed four hits, and gave up two earned runs in a 4-3 Toronto victory. That was before the Blue Jays found their groove at the plate and they didn’t have Teoscar Hernandez who is back in the lineup and healthy.

Toronto is 7-1 SU in its last eight games against Oakland. The A’s are 1-7 SU in their last eight games and just 1-11 SU in their last 12 at home.