The Houston Astros didn’t quite match their 15-2 win from Friday night, but they still pounded the Blue Jays into submission by a score of 7-2. The game was never in doubt, with the Astros going into the 5th inning with a 5-0 lead. The Jays cut into the lead with a 2-run 5th, but that was all their offense scored on the day. Framber Valdez had another impressive start, as the bullpen convert is taking advantage of injuries to etch out a spot in the rotation.
Collin McHugh is nearing a return, but Valdez doesn’t look like a guy they should consider moving when he’s pitching like this. Corbin Martin failing in the majors set up Valdez’s chance as a starting hurler. Martin’s struggle was a gain for Valdez. He’s made the most of it and now must continue pitching like that to stick around.
The Blue Jays and Astros will close out their three-game series on Sunday with the Astros looking for a sweep. It would make for the seventh win in the Astros’ last nine games if they can pull it off against Trent Thornton and company. All the Blue Jays are looking for at this point is respectability.
They will look to stop the bleeding and avoid eight losses in their last ten games. Their only wins during that stretch have been against the lowly Baltimore Orioles. In their previous 22 games they’ve gone just 5-17. It’s to be expected with their current situation in Toronto. However, some life would be accepted right about now.
Fans in Toronto aren’t currently too concerned with the Blue Jays’ issues after their NBA team just won the championship, though. When they come down off that high and we’re deep into the summer, attention will be back on the Jays, likely not in the most positive light. Trent Thornton gets the call for Toronto at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, while the ‘Stros will counter with Brad Peacock. Head below for our free Blue Jays vs. Astros pick.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros Pick:
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The Blue Jays will look at Trent Thornton to avoid a sweep in Houston. Given what else they have in their rotation, Thornton is one of their best options at the moment. He may move into the best after Marcus Stroman gets traded. Aaron Sanchez is apparently on the chopping block as well, but don’t they need somebody to fill out this rotation in the meantime? I know this is a lost season, but they’re going to have absolutely nothing in their arsenal if both Stroman and Sanchez are on the out. It would put Thornton and then Clayton Richard next in line at the top of the rotation. Woof.
Thornton has been holding on in an attempt to keep his ERA below 5.00 before the All-Star Game, but he appears to be trending in that direction. He owns an ERA of 6.14 and 1.91 WHIP in his last three outings and has surrendered at least 3 runs in four straight games. The rookie is getting some valuable experience in the presence of a weak rotation in Toronto. There will be growing pains, which he is currently going through. Note that the Jays acquired Thornton in a trade with the Astros, so he is going to be motivated in this one. He circled the Astros on his calendar.
That doesn’t necessarily translate to a nice outing, though. It’s going to have to come against a red-hot Astro offense, who have scored 22 runs in the last two games. Despite playing banged up and without a few key hitters, the Astros are making it work just like how the Yankees have been without Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Solid depth is a manager’s best friend. Peacock looks to bounce back after an uncharacteristic effort against the Brewers. He allowed 7 hits and 4 runs in 6.1 innings, which hasn’t been the norm for him. Peacock has been better at home this season with a 2.90 ERA and 1.02 WHIP compared to an ERA of 4.11 and 1.17 WHIP on the road. He should feel comfortable against a struggling Toronto offense in this one. The Jays have scored 2 or less runs in seven of their previous nine contests. Consider the Astros to take care of their opponents again on Sunday for the sweep.