Blue Jays continue road trip as underdogs in Cleveland

Justin Smoak hit two home runs as the Blue Jays edged the Red Sox 8-6 to split their four-game series.

The Toronto Blue Jays will try to build on their highest-scoring performance in three weeks on Friday when they kick off a three-game weekend set with the Cleveland Indians as +125 underdogs on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto hung on for an 8-6 win over Boston on Thursday to stay within five games of the New York Yankees in the race for the second AL wild card spot going into Friday night’s Blue Jays vs. Indians betting matchup at Progressive Field.

The Blue Jays’ eight runs in Thursday afternoon’s victory as +101 road underdogs marked their highest offensive output since an 8-2 win in Kansas City as -128 chalk on June 25. Runs have been scarce since that win over the Royals, with Toronto batters averaging a meagre 3.26 runs per game in their following 19 outings.

While the Blue Jays managed to escape from Fenway Park with a split in their four-game set with the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, inconsistency continues to plague the club. It’s resulted in them failing to post consecutive wins while going 4-6 in their last 10.

The Indians return to the shores of Lake Erie as -135 favourites on Friday after falling 5-4 to San Francisco as heavy -218 road chalk on Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game set with the Giants.

With the loss, Cleveland tumbles to 1-6 in their past seven contests, but the Indians maintain a razor-thin half-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the race for the top spot in the AL Central standings.

Consistency has also eluded the Indians in recent dates at Progressive Field, where they are a middling 6-7 over their past 13 games. But they have shown signs of reversing that trend by winning two of their past three series on home turf, and have outscored visitors by a 29-9 margin during a 3-1 run.

Marco Estrada is faced with a tough task on Friday as he takes the mound looking for his first win in nine starts since dominating in Toronto’s 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers as -107 chalk on May 27. The Blue Jays are 3-6 in their past nine against Cleveland, including last year’s ALCS during which Estrada was tagged with a pair of heartbreaking losing decisions.

Trevor Bauer gets the call for Cleveland on Friday. The righthander took the decision in a 4-2 loss in Toronto as +103 underdogs on May 8, and has surrendered seven earned runs over a total of just 5.2 innings in his past two starts.

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