We’ve got a pitching matchup involving two shakey starters tonight in Toronto, as Houston visits to open a series. No surprise, our MLB betting picks for Astros vs. Blue Jays are looking to take advantage of those starters.
Despite a slow start on offense, some key injuries, and a tough schedule, the Toronto Blue Jays have navigated the early part of their season fairly well, going 13-7 and sitting a half-game behind the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East.
The tough stretch continues as the Jays open a three-game weekend set against the Houston Astros tonight in Toronto. Game 1 will see Yusei Kikuchi toe the rubber against Jose Urquidy, two pitchers still looking to find their good form.
Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Astros vs. Blue Jays on April 29.
Astros vs Blue Jays odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Blue Jays opened this matchup as roughly -120 home favorites and the line hasn’t moved too far off that number as of Friday afternoon. The total, on the other hand, has seen a little more action, jumping up to 8.5 after hitting the board at an even 8.
Astros vs Blue Jays predictions
Picks made on 4/29/2022 at 3:00.m. ET
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Astros vs Blue Jays game info
• Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
• DateDate: Friday, April 29, 2022
• first pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
• TV: ATTSN-SW, Sportsnet
Astros vs Blue Jays betting preview
Jose Urquidy (1-1, 5.52 ERA): Urquidy has had an up-and-down start to the season. After a solid start against the Angels, the right-hander got hammered by the Mariners. While he last 5 2-3 innings in his last start, which came against the Jays, he was hit hard and gave up six hits.
Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 3.75 ERA): While Kikuchi has a solid ERA, the lefty has flirted with disaster all season long. Opponents have a .375 on-base percentage against Kikuchi and he has more walks this season (10) than strikeouts (nine) in his first three starts of the season.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Stars: Houston Altuve 2B (Out), Ryan Pressly RP (Out).
Blue Jays: Teoscar Hernandez OF (Out), Danny Jansen C (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last four Friday games. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. blue jays
Astros vs. Blue Jays picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Money line analysis
The Blue Jays have had to deal with key injuries to Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen, slow starts for guys like Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman, and a tough schedule, but this team keeps doing the little things that are required to win ball games.
As a result, the Jays have yet to lose a series this season, compiling a 13-7 record and sitting just a half-game behind the New York Yankees in the American League East.
They’ll look to start another series off on the right foot in Friday night’s opener against the Astros and hope their offense can get a kick start when they go against Urquidy.
Despite posting a solid box score in his last start against the Blue Jays, Urquidy has been hit hard so far this season. The right-hander is just finding way too much of the zone with his fastball at the moment and opponents have hammered it for .675 expected slugging percentage against him, resulting in an expected ERA of 6.97.
Even though the Jays have had some issues driving in runners, they still rank a respectable eighth in batting average and 11th in OPS when facing right-handed pitchers this season, while leading the MLB in home runs.
Meanwhile, the Jays can’t be that confident handing the ball to Yusei Kikuchi, who has had his own issues early on, posting an expected ERA of 5.50 while ranking in the bottom five percentile in the league at walk rate.
But, the Astros have real problems against left-handers. Their .181 team batting average and .572 OPS vs Southpaws rank 29th and 27th in MLB.
While both starters enter this game struggling, the Blue Jays look slightly more well-equipped to deal with the matchup. Getting the home team as a slight favorite looks like a decent value.
prediction: Blue Jays moneyline (-120 at FanDuel)
Covers MLB betting analysis
Two struggling starting pitchers and two offenses that, so far, have yet to even scrape their potential? It’s no wonder the early money for this game is on the Over and I tend to agree.
As noted, both these starters have expected ERAs of 5.50 or higher and even though both lineups are missing key pieces at the moment, they are capable of taking advantage of this pitching matchup.
For starters, not only has Kikuchi struggled early on this season but he’s also had problems with the Astros his entire career. In 12 starts against them, he owns a 5.95 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Conversely, Urquidy has a 5.29 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in three starts against the Blue Jays.
Expect both teams’ bats to get a boost in this one and send the game Over the total.
prediction:Over 8.5 (-115 at bet365)
If it looks like a duck. If it walks like a duck. If it quacks like a duck. It’s a duck. So, we’re taking advantage of this starting pitching matchup we’ve talked all about and betting that we get some runs early in this one. Bet the Over first five innings.
Pick: Over 4.5 first five innings (-122 at FanDuel)