Athletics vs. Blue Jays Prediction, Odds, Betting Preview

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays returns to the dugout in the middle of the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Grapefruit League
Image Credit: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Blue Jays and Athletics are at vastly different ends of the MLB power rankings. The Blue Jays are a playoff competitor, and the A’s are in the rebuilding portion of their cycle.

Nevertheless, the A’s sprung an upset last night. Can the Blue Jays get a measure of revenge tonight?

We’ll look at the matchups and odds while finding betting value with an Athletics vs. Blue Jays prediction.

Athletics vs. Blue Jays Odds Odds

Blue Jays (Y. Kikuchi)
+1.5 (-105)-175O 8 (-120)
@ Athletics (A. Martinez)-1.5 (+115)+145U 8 (+100)

Is Yusei Kikuchi Turning It Around?

Kikuchi vs Athletics: Yusei Kikuchi was brilliant in his previous start. He held the Tampa Bay Rays to only one run on four hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts in six innings. The only damage was a solo shot.

Kikuchi’s gem snapped a five-start stretch of pitching less than five innings. During his messy stretch, the veteran lefty had an ugly 9.39 ERA, allowing nine homers and walking 11 hitters in only 15.1 innings. So was his last outing legitimate or will the Toronto southpaw revert to his generous ways?

One notable change in Kikuchi’s last start was a pitch-mix adjustment. According to FanGraphs, he threw his cutter 25% of the time. He hadn’t thrown the cutter in his previous three starts and rarely used it in May and early June. Yet, putting faith in his cutter being a cure-all is foolish. According to FanGraphs, batters have had a 235 wRC+ against his cutter this year, ripping him for a 149 wRC+ in his MLB career. So, Kikuchi’s not out of the woods yet. He could struggle against Oakland despite the perceived good matchup.

Athletics Offense: The A’s offense stinks. Against lefties, they’re 28th in wRC+ (84) and wOBA (.278) and 26th in ISO (.124). Yikes. There’s not a good spin to put on that.

Regardless, they have a chance to exceed their usual unproductivity against southpaws. In Oakland’s most recent matchup against a left-handed starter, all nine hitters were righties or switch-hitters. Why is that important? Since last year, Kikuchi has been smashed for a .495 SLG and .368 wOBA by 745 right-handed batters.

Adrian Martinez Has His Hands Full

Martinez vs Blue Jays: It hasn’t been a fairytale rookie season for Adrian Martinez. Sure, he’s only made two starts for the A’s. Still, he’s had a dreadful 6.30 ERA. His 4.54 xERA, 5.80 xFIP, and 5.17 SIERA are also awful.

Martinez has been roughed up in the minors in 2022, too. In 13 starts in Triple-A, he’s had a 5.63 ERA and 4.65 xFIP. The conditions in Triple-A are hitter-friendly, but there’s not a positive spin to put on Martinez’s work this year.

Blue Jays Offense: The Blue Jays should tee off on the overmatched rookie righty. Further, Martinez is a delightful matchup fit for Toronto’s righty-heavy lineup.

He’s coughed up two homers, a .368 OBP, .625 SLG, and .421 wOBA to the 19 righties hes’ faced in the big leagues. In addition, Martinez has ceded a .809 OPS to righties in Triple-A this year, per Baseball-Reference. Therefore, studs like George Springer, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Alejandro Kirk, and Teoscar Hernandez should erupt tonight.

Athletics vs. Blue Jays Prediction

The Blue Jays should bounce back tonight. Yet, because Kikuchi is only one good start removed from a five-start stretch flirting with a double-digit ERA, backing Toronto’s potent offense is more appealing than betting them to win.

The game’s over is tempting, too, at an approachable eight runs. Yet, if Kikuchi legitimately figured something out in the last start, Oakland’s offense could fail to pull their weight. Meanwhile, behind overmatched Martinez, Oakland’s bullpen is unlikely to have answers for Toronto’s potent offense. This season, A’s relievers are tied for the seventh-highest ERA (4.36). So, the Blue Jays can score early and often tonight.

The Pick: Blue Jays Over 4.5 Runs (-110) | BetMGM Sportsbook

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