Roberto Hernandez (1-3, 3.86 ERA) and Drew Hutchison (3-0, 6.69 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Houston Astros (21-13) and the Toronto Blue Jays (17-18) at Minute Maid Park. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, May. 14 and can be seen on RSN and ROOT-SW.
Hernandez is 3-3 with a 4.24 ERA in his appearances against the Blue Jays, and goes up against a quality Toronto offense which is batting .260 this season. Jose Altuve (.326, 17 Rs, 4 HRs, 21 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. Against the Astros, Hutchison is 0-0 with a 12.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and two strikeouts. Russell Martin (.288, 22 Rs, 7 HRs, 19 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Toronto is a narrow -108 favorite over Houston. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of eight runs. The Astros have recorded an overall money line of +811 and have shown high-level performance as an underdog this season with a record of 15-6. The Astros have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.3 runs per game. Houston is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 36 bases. Houston's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 4.9 runs per game, well above its season average of 3.9. The Astros are the top team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.12 so far this season.
In the other locker room, in contrast to a worrisome overall money line (-197), Toronto has an impressive 10-6 record when playing as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 4-1 record, and a 5-5 record SU. The Blue Jays have a dynamic offense, ranking second in the league with 116 extra base hits.
The Astros have a 12-9 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hutchison takes the mound. Hernandez (RHP) will be on the hill against the Blue Jays, who have a 12-17 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games.
Toronto is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 6 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 6 games when playing Houston.
Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston.
Toronto is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Houston.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 6 games when playing Toronto.
Houston has won 64% (9-5) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Toronto has won 67% (8-4) of its games when taking a late lead.
After a weak showing last week where they got in eight hits, the Astros need to step it up. The Blue Jays have a record of 11-7 when opponents get eight hits or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Blue Jays are 2-14. The Astros have a 7-9 record when opponents outhit them.
Toronto ranks in the top 10 of the league at seventh when it comes to home runs, hitting 40 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at second with 49.
Ranking 14th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.53 per game. Toronto ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.69.
Ranking 15th, Houston is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.705). Toronto ranks in the top five at fourth with an OPS of .759.
When the Blue Jays allow at least one home run, they are 9-14. When the Astros allow one or more homers, they have an 8-7 record.