Can the Toronto Blue Jays (36-41, minus-5.45 betting units) climb back into playoff contention? This week’s series against the defending World Series champions will speak volumes about how Toronto stacks up. They’ll visit the Houston Astros (52-27, plus-6.16 units) for a three-game set; Game 3 is Wednesday afternoon at 2:10 PM ET on Sportsnet.
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A fresh batch of injuries has rattled Toronto’s pitching rotation, but it looks like Marco Estrada (4.48 ERA) will make his scheduled start on Wednesday. The Jays are 7-8 behind Estrada this year for 0.92 units in earnings, and he’s given up just five earned runs in his last four games combined; current Astros have a combined .698 lifetime OPS off Estrada, well below their .771 average on the season.
Pitching opposite Estrada is two-time All-Star and former AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel (3.90 ERA). This hasn’t been Keuchel’s finest hour; Houston is 3.08 units in the red with their star lefty on the mound, going 7-8 while providing 4.75 runs per game in support, down from 5.10 runs overall. But it looks like Keuchel may have ironed out the bugs, pitching six scoreless innings in each of his last two starts.