MLB Preview – Oakland Athletics @ Toronto Blue Jays

MLB Preview – Oakland Athletics @ Toronto Blue Jays

MLB Preview – Oakland Athletics @ Toronto Blue Jays

California goes to Canada tonight as the Oakland Athletics make the trip to the Great White North, hoping to avoid the three game sweep orchestrated by their opponents tonight, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Marlins are 25th overall in the MLB, 14th in the American Conference and last in the American Conference West. The Blue Jays are sixth overall, second in the American Conference, and the toppers of the American Conference East.

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The Athletics would have expected to do better this season following a fantastic playoff campaign last year, but they’ve fell short. They’ve managed to muster a split in their last eight games, earning wins over the Baltimore Orioles and three over the Houston Astros. Their bats have been largely quite good all season, ranking as the 14th in the league for runs scored with 468. They’ve only managed to cross the home base 27 times in the last eight games however. Despite this, and having a deep and strong pitching team, they just can’t seem to win games convincingly. Sonny Gray gets the call to the mound tonight. Gray has solidified himself this season as one of the league’s best pitchers, currently owning a fourth best in the league 2.06 ERA. He went for the full nine innings in a pitcher dual against Dallas Keuchel and the Astros in his last start, only allowing a single run in the process. Gray has only allowed more than three runs twice in his last ten starts.

The Blue Jays are without a doubt the hottest team in the league, rocking a ten game win streak. That’s a perfect 1.000 in their last eight games. These wins have come over three wins in a four game sweep of the Minnesota Twins, a three game sweep of the New York Yankees, and two wins against the Athletics, hoping to make it a third sweep in a row tonight. They’ve hit the ball out the park 45 times in those eight wins, and that has been evident of their success at the bat this season, being first in the league for runs scored and the only team with over 600 runs scored. They made significant improvements in free agency with their pitching support and that must be attributed to their success. Mark Buehrle will be tossing the ball for Toronto tonight who has legitimized himself as a reliable and efficient pitcher, owning a solid 3.34 ERA. Buehrle limited the Twins to three runs over seven innings in his last start. Buehrle has also only allowed more than three runs twice in his last ten starts.

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Whilst the season of the Athletics now largely looks like a lost cause, the same cannot be said for the Toronto Blue Jays who although were mounting a challenge from the start, their smart moves in free agency ensured them a playoff campaign which could put the league on notice. They fortified a solid pitching rotation and gave themselves plenty of options. As good as Sonny Gray is, it’s hard to find a reason the Athletics will win when you consider the Blue Jays are playing some great Baseball right now, and that Buehrle, although not as good, has enough credentials to silence the Athletics run support, enough for the Blue Jays to find enough runs of Gray. I like the Blue Jays to extend their streak, win a third series on the bounce, and get the win here today. Toronto Blue Jays win.

Dan Glozier.

 

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