Blue Jays vs Angels Picks and Predictions: MLB's Most Exciting Team vs MLB's Most Exciting Player

Baseball's most exciting team takes on baseball's most exciting player when the Blue Jays take on Shohei Ohtani and the Angels. We're not banking on either team scoring against two elite arms, but Toronto's offensive superiority should eventually prevail.

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2021 9:36 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Jose Berrios Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The most exciting team in baseball will face the most exciting player as the Toronto Blue Jays take on Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels in the four-game series finale on Thursday night.

Toronto will be looking to win the series after taking last night’s game 10-2 and the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader 4-0. The Wild Card race is heating up and the Jays going 3-1 SU in Los Angeles would go a long way.

The Blue Jays opened as -130 MLB betting favorites and have fallen slightly to -127. The Total opened at 9 but also could be found at 8.5 at some books.

Here are our free MLB picks and predictions for Blue Jays vs. Angels for Thursday, August 12 (9:38 p.m. ET).

Blue Jays vs Angels game info

Location: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
Date: Thursday, August 12, 2021
Time: 9:38 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet 1, Bally Sports West

Blue Jays vs Angels odds

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Blue Jays vs Angels betting preview

Starting pitchers

Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.23 ERA): Jose Berrios has made two starts for the Jays since coming over from the Twins via trade at the deadline. In those two games, the right-hander has surrendered just a single run over 12 innings and has a 13:1 K/BB ratio. Berrios’ consistency is eye-popping as he owns a 3.38 ERA in his losses and a 3.04 ERA in his wins. He has seen the Angels twice this year and is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.583 WHIP.

Shohei Ohtani (6-1, 2.93 ERA): Although he is currently +8,000 to win the AL Cy Young, Ohtani has been just as dominant as the frontrunners, but on a more limited basis. The Japanese starter last pitched on August 4 and has come out of the second half on a mission, recording 17 strikeouts to just one walk and one run over three starts (19 innings). Since getting shelled for seven runs on June 30, Ohtani has been kicking ass and taking names and owns a 1.38 ERA over his last four starts since the pummeling. Ohtani loves to compete... and facing the Jays’ lineup could bring out the best in him.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Blue Jays: Bo Bichette SS (Questionable), Danny Jansen C (Out), Cavan Biggio IF (Out), Joakim Soria RP (Out).
Angels: Anthony Rendon 3B (Out), Mike Trout OF (Out), Franklin Barreto SS (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last four final games of a four-game series. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. Angels.

Moneyline pick

It feels like when the Jays traded for Jose Berrios, the front office proved it was committed to winning this year. The former Twin has not disappointed, as he’s tossed a quality start in both his games since arriving in Toronto and has looked like a bonafide ace in doing so. He’s faced 49 batters with the Jays, walking just one and allowing just 10 hits and one run. If the Blue Jays hit the postseason, Berrios could be handed the ball in Game 1.

We mentioned yesterday that the Halos came into this series with one of the weaker offenses in the second half, as their .665 OPS ranks 30th in baseball. Things might get worse before they get better against Berrios as he comes into Thursday’s match with a ton of confidence having already dominated the Angels twice this year. The now-Toronto starter has given up just six hits and one walk against L.A. across 12 innings — the current Angels’ lineup is hitting .145 off of Berrios in his career.

Most of the Blue jays have yet to see Shohei Ohtani on the mound but the two batters who have seen him — George Springer and Marcus Semien — have had success against the former NPB pitcher. They are a combined 6 for 13 with a homer against the Angels’ star and you can bet that the young Blue Jay hitters have had this date circled on their calendars as the best always want to beat the best.

Even if Ohtani gets stingy, this Toronto team has had no problem playing tight and uber-competitive games following their four-game set with the Red Sox. If Berrios and the pen can keep it close, the Jays have that much power up and down the order that they can hang a crooked number at any moment. Even if Bo Bichette sits another game, this Jays lineup is so deep it doesn’t matter: The No. 8 and No. 9 batters are hitting .310 and .293, respectively.

The Jays ML has dropped slightly since opening and taking the better team at -127 seems like a deal. If this line does move later in the day, the run line is still a viable option as the Jays are 24-2 ATS in their last 26 wins.

PREDICTION: Toronto (-127)

Over/Under pick

The Under failed to hang on last night, as the Jays — without Bo Bichette — launched four homers. However, with Ohtani and Berrios taking the ball, we doubt the Jays will hang double digits again.

Alek Manoah struck out 11 Angels last night in 6 2-3 innings and gave up just five hits and two walks. Los Angeles’ only two runs came on a 1-2 slider that Ohtani put in the bleachers. Other than that, the home team managed just three runners in scoring position and finished 0 for 3 in that scenario — pushing its series mark to 2 for 21 with RISP.

Hitting the Over means scoring runs, and that is something the Angels have struggled to do in the second half. L.A. is scoring a sad 3.5 runs per game since July 16 and has scored more than six runs just twice over its last 24 games. Even if Berrios hands the ball over early, the retooled Toronto bullpen is more than capable of shutting things down late. The Jays’ relievers are sporting a mid-3.00 ERA over the last two weeks and are striking out batters at a 25 percent clip.

Ultimately, Thursday’s match is about the two starting pitchers — both of who live for the big game and have elite stuff. If both of these pitchers are on, one team scoring more than five runs is going to be an issue.

Thursday’s finale could be a tight game that gets settled late. This total can be found at 9 on some books and that’s where our money lies.

PREDICTION: Under 9 (-114)

Blue Jays vs Angels betting card

  • Toronto ML (-127)
  • Under 9 (-114)

Picks made on 8/12/2021 at 6:15 a.m. ET

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