Royals vs. Blue Jays Best MLB Bets, Picks & Predictions: Can Depleted Royals Score Enough in Toronto?

<p>AP Photos</p>

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Ready to lock in your MLB bets? OddsJam’s MLB expert breaks down his top pick and prediction for today’s slate. Find the bet @BalesSJustin is eyeing below.

Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Betting Preview:

7:07 p.m. ET

Kevin Gausman and the Toronto Blue Jays will host the Kansas City Royals at Rogers Centre tonight. The location of the game may be the most important aspect of this bet. We’re backing an elite arm against what more or less will be a minor league offense. 

Gausman’s seen mixed results throughout the season, but he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He enters this game with a 6-6 record and 2.86 ERA through 16 starts. His ERA is backed by an elite 2.81 xFIP as well. 

Gausman has great strikeout stuff, bringing a 27% strikeout rate into this game. His walk rate (4.3%) is the lowest of his career, as he continues solid control. The right-hander can also get groundballs when needed, as he owns a 42.5% groundball rate through 88 innings. 

Gausman’s due for some positive regression in Toronto as the season progresses. He’s posted a 3.77 ERA through 43 home innings, but he also owns an absurd 2.58 xFIP in those innings. 

He had a short stretch a few games ago where he struggled. Gausman’s posted a 3.27 or better xFIP in four consecutive starts, including 2.36 and 2.17 xFIPs in his last two starts. 

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Toronto’s ace was forced from his last game after taking a line drive off of his ankle. He missed a start and will return tonight. He threw a bullpen session without any issues during his time off, though, and he isn’t expected to have any limitations tonight. 

Gausman gets an interesting matchup against Kansas City tonight. The Royals quietly rank eighth in the MLB in team wOBA (.329) over the last 14 days. 

Kansas City’s struggled against right-handed pitching throughout the season, though. They rank 17th in average (.241), 26th in slugging percentage (.370), and 25th in OPS (.675) this season. 

Overall, none of this may matter all that much, though. Several key players have been placed on the restricted list because of COVID-19 protocols in Canada. That list includes Whit Merrifield, Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Dozier, Cam Gallagher, MJ Melendez, Kyle Isbel, and Michael A. Taylor. 

Edward Olivares is the only player that is expected to start tonight with a batting average over .250 for Kansas City. Granted, Bobby Witt Jr. is likely the most dangerous option in their offense. He’s been heating up in recent games, and he has the speed to turn a single into a scoring opportunity. 

Vincent Pasquantino and Ryan O’Hearn are both hitting under .200 on the season. Sebastian Rivero, Nick Pratto, and Drew Waters haven’t recorded a hit in the MLB this season Pratto and Waters making their MLB debuts. 

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Gausman is the true key to this bet. He doesn’t give up home runs, allowing only 2 in 88 innings this season. He’s also only walked 16 batters in those innings. Essentially, Gausman forces his opponents to beat him with hits, and this Kansas City lineup isn’t likely to consistently find hits in this game. 

The only major concern is Toronto’s bullpen. They’ve struggled a bit recently, posting a 4.05 xFIP over the last 30 days. Although it isn’t the worst number in the MLB, it leaves plenty to be desired. With that being said, they generally don’t give up many runs after Gausman throws 6+ innings, and I’m expecting that to be the case again tonight. 

We’re backing an elite arm against what should be the worst lineup in the MLB tonight. This bet leaves very little room for error, but I find no reason to believe Gausman won’t have an elite outing in this game.

Royals vs. Blue Jays Pick: Royals Team Total Under 2.5  | +105 at DraftKings

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