The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to have top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the lineup on Friday when they open a three-game weekend series with the visiting Oakland A’s as -125 favourites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Guerrero hit .381 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI while playing at four minor-league levels last season, and will likely get his first-ever taste of MLB action in Friday night’s A’s vs. Blue Jays betting matchup at Rogers Centre.
The son of Hall of Fame outfielder and former Montreal Expos great Vladimir Guerrero, the 20-year-old has seen his major league debut delayed by both injury woes and the Blue Jays organization’s desire to extend its contractual control over baseball’s top prospect.
Guerrero’s arrival is expected to give a lift to a Blue Jays offensive attack that has struggled with consistency issues this season. Toronto remains near the bottom of the MLB team stats in most offensive categories, sporting a 25th-ranked .227 team batting average and sitting 24th in the majors with just 26 total home runs.
The Blue Jays looked to be turning the corner of late, averaging over 5.6 runs per game during a recent 6-2 run, but saw the bats fall silent while suffering their second shutout of the season in their last outing, a 4-0 loss to Kevin Pillar and the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday as +110 home underdogs.
The A’s open a nine-game road trip in Toronto on Friday as +105 underdogs. Oakland racked up 23 total runs while marching to a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers, capped by a 6-5 victory as -160 home chalk on Wednesday. However, the A’s have also struggled with consistency issues this season, with the club getting swept in three series, contributing to a 14-13 record that leaves them battling the Rangers for third place in the AL West standings.
One of those series sweeps came at the hands of the Blue Jays last week. Toronto outscored the A’s by a wide 20-6 margin while claiming victory in three dates at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, putting a halt to the Blue Jays’ seven-game losing streak against Oakland, according to the OddsShark MLB Database.
The A’s shaky start comes as a disappointment after the club surprised many observers by winning 97 games last season and claiming the second AL wild card, and has dumped the club to +4500 on the World Series odds, well back of their opening position at +2500.
With an 11-14 record, the Blue Jays also lag on the World Series odds at a distant +10000.