The Toronto Blue Jays are on the west coast of California, hoping to get their season in order before it turns into a disaster. There is a lot of time for them to prevent a disaster, but it’d be nice if there were signs of life in that clubhouse.
The Blue Jays and Angels split the first two games of the series, with the Jays getting a much needed 8-7 win in extras on Friday, and then the Angels got a 5-4 win on Saturday.
A little of everything has gone wrong for the Blue Jays thus far. The offense has been stagnant at the plate, with a gaping hole in the middle of that lineup. Can you say, they miss Edwin Encarnacion? The loss of Edwin was bigger than some Jays’ fans wanted to let on.
There is no debating that the team looks very different without him in the lineup. No disrespect to Kendrys Morales, who has gone deep 3 times in 2017, but Encarnacion was a sparkplug igniter in the Blue Jays’ lineup.
He was a leader type, and the Blue Jays feel a little different with one of their dragons’ heads cut off. The other, Jose Bautista, has gotten off to what you would consider a slot start. He did, however, get a much needed long ball against the Angels to help the Jays beat the Angels on Friday.
It’s a start, but he’s going to have to get going if he wants the kind of contract he’ll be seeking in the offseason. At this pace, he’s going to have a hard time securing a fat salary.
Mike Trout and the Angels are a team lost without pitching, and the loss of Garrett Richards hurts them yet again in that department. They aren’t going anywhere without any pitching. Their 8-11 start is more than likely a sign of things to come in Anaheim. Head below for the Blue Jays vs. Angels pick for Sunday.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Marcus Stroman (1-2, 4.05 ERA) vs. Jesse Chavez (1-3, 5.00 ERA)
Marcus Stroman will get the nod for the Jays on the mound today in Anaheim. Here is a guy, who I think, needs to pick it up or he’s going to start hearing the word bust associated with his name. For a guy who gets a lot of praise, all he’s done is flourish for a few weeks, albeit a few important weeks. Nevertheless, he’s been unable to flourish as the ace of the Jays’ staff.
Stroman returned late in 2015 after rehabbing all year, where he posted an ERA of 1.67 down the stretch to help the Blue Jays immensely. However, he struggled at times the following season, ultimately finishing with a 4.37 ERA.
Stroman enters with a 4.05 ERA in three starts. The Red Sox drilled him in his last outing, as he surrendered 6 runs and 11 hits in 4.2 innings. He escaped getting damaged against the Angels in his only start against them in 2016. Stroman allowed 7 hits in 6 innings, but held the Angels to just 2 runs. The Angels have had to dig deep into the pitching staff.
Jesse Chavez will counter for the Angels. Primarily a bullpen filler for the majority of his career, Chavez is getting an opportunity to start because of the necessity of starters in Anaheim with injuries and lack of talent. Chavez was a member of the Toronto bullpen a year ago, also spending time in L.A. with the Dodgers. He posted a 4.57 ERA with the Blue Jays and a 4.21 ERA with the Dodgers.
Chavez is trying to contribute as a starter for the first since 2015, where he yielded a 4.18 ERA with the A’s. The Blue Jays have already seen Chavez this year, getting to him for 3 runs in just an inning of work. I expect runs to come relatively easy in Anaheim on Sunday. The OVER doesn’t look like a bad MLB pick.
PICK: OVER 8 (-120)