The Oakland Athletics visit the Toronto Blue Jays tonight to start a three game series. The A’s own the top pitching staff in the American League and that has helped them compete for a possible postseason appearance even though they have the league’s lowest payroll. Oakland has won five straight games and will look to make it six tonight.
The A’s record is currently 51-44 and they are currently in the race for a wildcard spot. In July, the A’s have a league best record of 14-2 after sweeping the New York Yankees for the first time in 40 years with a 5-4 win in 12 innings. Travis Blackley will start on the mound for the A’s. Blackley is 2-2 on the season with an ERA of 2.86. Last Wednesday, he gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings when the A’s defeated Texas 4-3. The southpaw played baseball last season in Korea and Oakland claimed him off waivers in May from San Francisco.
Toronto is coming off a three game sweep of Boston at Fenway Park where they outscored the Red Sox 28-11 even without their top offensive player Jose Bautista who is on the disabled list due to a sore wrist. On Sunday, the Blue Jays had 18 hits in a 15-7 victory. Toronto is 48-47 on the season and had four homers in that game.
Toronto will send Brett Cecil to the mound tonight. Cecil is 2-2 on the season with an ERA of 6.34. Last Tuesday Cecil lost to the Yankees 6-1 after allowing three runs in just six innings of work. The southpaw however has pitched well against Oakland in four career outings against the A’s Cecil is 2-2 with an ERA of 2.79.
The teams split their only series this season on May 8 and 9. The current line has the Blue Jays favored at home -130, with the A’s at +120. The run total is at 9.5. Smart money is behind Oakland to win this game on the road with the total cashing out to the OVER.