A nice betting opportunity presents itself in Texas on Friday, when the Toronto Blue Jays visit the Rangers. The Blue Jays have been a surprise package in 2012, combining solid pitching with a lineup generating the third-most runs in the American League. Toronto’s biggest star on the mound has been Brandon Morrow, who gets the start in this one. In his last outing he threw a shutout, striking out eight and walking just one. Overall, he’s 5-2 with an impressive 2.63 ERA. While Morrow faces the Rangers’ excellent lineup on the road, he has been sterling away from Toronto this season, sporting a 3-0 record and a 0.63 ERA in four starts.
As for the Rangers pitcher, Derek Holland, pitching at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has been a nightmare: he is 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA there. All signs point to picking the Blue Jays at 2.20 and passing on the Rangers who can be had at 1.67.
If you’re looking for a relatively sure bet, the Dodgers, who host the Houston Astros, have been nearly unbeatable at home. The club’s record at Dodger Stadium is a dominant 19-4. Throw in the fact that Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw is starting and the Dodgers are a very strong play. Kershaw has a 1.41 ERA at home in his last 14 starts there.
The Astros’ Lucas Harrell is a serviceable starter, but he hasn’t pitched beyond the sixth inning in each of his last four starts. If you’re worried that the Dodger offence may not be up to the task because their top hitter Matt Kemp is on the disabled list, don’t be – the club is 7-3 during that stretch. Los Angeles is a no-brainer, even if the odds are not great at 1.40. Don’t take Houston at 2.95.