The Texas Rangers will try and even their best-of-five ALDS Series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday afternoon in a game that can be seen on TBS.  It is virtually a must-win for the Rangers considering this series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Sunday and the Rangers have lost 7 of the last 10 in Toronto. The Rangers were throttled in Game 1, losing 10-1 as Jose Bautista and Melvin Upton Jr. hit home runs and Marco Estrada pitched eight shutout innings. The probable pitching matchup for Game 2 has J.A. Happ going for the Blue Jays while the Rangers start Yu Darvish. Let’s look at the contest and MLB picks.

Probable Pitching Matchup – Happ vs. Darvish

Happ was 20-4 this season with a 3.18 ERA. This will be the second playoff start for Happ who pitched in the playoffs in 2009.  Happ pitched well down the stretch this season as he had a 1-0 record and a 2.41 ERA in his last three starts.

Darvish was 7-5 this season with a 3.41 ERA. He was 6-2 at home with a 4.26 ERA in ten starts. He was 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts this season. He is 3-2 in his career against the Blue Jay with a 2.45 ERA. He will be making his second career postseason start as he pitched in 2012 and allowed three runs to Baltimore in a Wild Card Game loss.

Game Notes

The Blue Jays were 43-38 on the road this season with just 27 games going over, 51 going under with 3 pushes. Toronto is scoring 4.7 runs per game and allowing 3.8 per contest.

The Rangers were 53-28 at home this season with 42 going over, 34 going under with 5 pushes. Texas is scoring 4.7 runs per game and allowing 4.4 per contest.

Game Trends

The Blue Jays are 4-0 in Happ’s last 4 road starts. The Blue Jays are 8-1 in Happ’s last 9 starts vs. the American League West.

The Rangers are 51-26 in their last 77 home games. The Rangers are 8-2 in Darvish’s last 10 starts. The Rangers are 7-3 in Darvish’s last 10 starts vs. the American League East. The Rangers are 15-7 in Darvish’s last 22 home starts. The Rangers are 1-4 in Darvish’s last 5 starts vs. the Blue Jays.

The Under is 12-2 in the Blue Jays last 14 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Under is 23-10 in the Blue Jays last 33 road games. The Over is 7-3-1 in Happ’s last 11 road starts. The Under is 5-1 in the Rangers last 6 home games vs. a left-handed starter. The Over is 5-2 in Darvish’s last 7 home starts. The Under is 5-0 in Darvish’s last 5 starts vs. the Blue Jays.

MLB Picks

This is a game that the Rangers simply have to win if they are to have any chance of winning this series. I will lay the price and take Texas and also play the game under the total.