The Toronto Blue Jays open their 2021 home schedule at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida on Thursday night when they take on the visiting Los Angeles Angels as slim opening -110 favourites on the baseball betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Forced to find a temporary home by border restrictions that remain in place today, the Blue Jays were limited to just 26 home games last season. The club, though, made the best of the limited facilities available to them at Sahlen Field, home of the AAA Buffalo Bisons, as they powered last season's march to the postseason with a 17-9 home record.
The Blue Jays also enjoyed a steady run at TD Ballpark during last month's Grapefruit League action, closing out their home schedule with an 8-3 record. However, the Toronto offense sputtered at times in Grapefruit League contests played in Dunedin, averaging just three runs per game over their final seven, and a middling 4.71 runs per game overall.
The club's uneven offensive production has carried over into the regular season. The Blue Jays have enjoyed a respectable start, highlighted by last weekend's series win over the New York Yankees. However, scoring has come at a premium during the early going, with Toronto batters generating an average of just 3.33 runs per game during the team's 3-3 start.
Fortunately, the Blue Jays have been equally stingy on defence. The club has allowed just three runs per game through its first six outings, capped by Wednesday afternoon's narrow 2-1 loss in Texas.
With divisional play dominating last season's schedule, Thursday will mark the first meeting between these two teams since June 2019. The Blue Jays have struggled in recent dates with the Angels, who look to the opening date of this weekend's four-game series as a +100 underdog at online betting sites.
The Blue Jays have picked up the win in just five of their last 18 dates with Los Angeles, according to the OddsShark MLB Database, and just once in seven clashes during the 2019 campaign. That woeful trend extends to recent home dates with the Angels, with Toronto going 7-17 in 24 such matchups since 2012.
That's good news for the Angels, who hit the road after going 4-2 in a season-opening six-game homestand. However, the team has plenty of work to do to turn things around on the road after amassing a dismal 10-19 away record in 2020.