Blue Jays vs A's Picks and Predictions: Will Kikuchi Let A's Stay Afloat?

The Jays are tough to back at this price with Kikuchi on the mound, so our MLB betting picks for Tuesday against the A's put more faith in the total being high, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. making an impact on the scoring.

Last Updated: Jul 5, 2022 3:20 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays' struggles followed them to the west coast as they dropped the opener of their series against the Oakland Athletics. The loss was the Blue Jays' fourth in a row while the win was just the ninth all season for the A’s at home.

Can Toronto bounce back when it hands the ball to Yusei Kikuchi for Game 2, or does Oakland have value as an underdog again? But more importantly, does the total stand a chance with this Jays’ offense and Kikuchi on the bump?

Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Blue Jays vs. A’s on Tuesday, June 22.

Blue Jays vs A's odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Blue Jays opened this American League matchup as roughly -180 road favorites and that’s pretty much where the line remains as of Tuesday afternoon. The total hit the board at 8.0 and has been bet up to 8.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Blue Jays vs A's predictions

Picks made on 7/5/2022 at 2:55 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Blue Jays vs A's game info

Location: RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Date: Tuesday, July 5, 2022
First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet, NBCS-CA

Blue Jays vs A's betting preview

Starting pitchers

Yusei Kikuchi (3-4, 4.74 ERA): The roller-coaster season for Kikuchi continues. After a terrible June where he got rocked for a 9.39 ERA over five starts, the lefty closed the month by dominating the Rays limiting them to one run on four hits while striking out eight in six innings.

Adrian Martinez (1-1, 6.30 ERA)The 25-year-old A’s prospect is making just his third career start. The right-hander was impressive in his first start against the Detroit Tigers but got tagged for seven runs on seven hits in his second outing last time out versus the Seattle Mariners.

Weather

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

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in Kikuchi's last five starts on the road and 9-4 in his last 13 starts overall. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. A's

Blue Jays vs A's picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Blue Jays' woes continued Monday night, dropping Game 1 of their series against the Athletics 5-1. It was Toronto’s fourth loss in a row, made all the more shocking by the fact that Alek Manoah was on the mound against a team that had just eight wins at home to that point.

Now, the Blue Jays turn to Mr. Inconsistent himself, Yusei Kikuchi, to snap their skid. As noted, Kikuchi ended June on a positive note after a horrendous stretch of games. But one good start can’t overtake the lefty’s season overall. Kikuchi still owns an expected ERA of 6.31 and is surrendering a .563 expected slugging percentage, both among the league's worst.

But despite the struggles, if there is a team Kikuchi can keep it up against, it’s the A’s. Oakland ranks 29th in batting average and 28th in OPS and wRC+ when facing lefties this season. 

Meanwhile, the A’s counter Kikuchi with prospect Adrian Martinez. The right-hander uses mostly a sinker and a changeup, and has made just two starts in his career — one good and one bad; the good one came against the Tigers. 

Not only will the Jays be the toughest lineup he has faced, it's been one of the best in baseball for more than a month. The Jays lead the MLB in batting average, OPS, and wRC+ since June 1.

The Blue Jays are the play here because of their offense and the state of the A's, but it’s hard to feel confident backing them at this price with Kikuchi on the mound. It’s not like great teams were roughing him up in June, as the Royals and Orioles tattooed him. And we know what happened last night — so this could be described as a very slight lean.

Prediction: Blue Jays moneyline (-175 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

While there doesn’t seem to be much value on the side, you can have more confidence betting the total, specifically the Over. 

We talked about how strong the Blue Jays’ offense is. The team is averaging 5.76 runs per game since June 1 and ranks second in OPS and fifth in wRC+ when facing right-handers.

The A’s will likely be happy to get five innings out of Martinez in this one and will then hand the ball to a bullpen that ranks 24th in ERA and 28th in WHIP.

And if you think one good start from Kikuchi has us thinking all is well, you’ve got another thing coming. This guy had surrendered at least three runs in each of his five previous starts, none last more than 4 2-3 innings. Those short outings could mean more work for a Jays bullpen that isn’t much better than the A’s, ranking 22nd in ERA and opponent batting average.

While we missed the boat on the best number, this total is still too low for this matchup.

Prediction: Over 8.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

Best bet

While the Jays obviously have some issues heading towards the All-Star break. But despite the struggles the offense keeps rolling and whether it's a guy like Alejandro Kirk, Teoscar Hernandez, or Lourdes Gurriel Jr., they continually present us with betting value when it comes to total bases props.

Today, we focus on the latter.

Gurriel is known for being a streaky hitter, and he is in the middle of one of his hot spells. The Jays' outfielder has collected at least one hit in 13 of his last 14 games, hitting .392 with a 1.074 OPS, including eight extra-base hits over that stretch. 

Another thing to like about the way Gurriel is swinging it is that he’s doing a great job of recognizing strikes, getting punched out just eight times over the last 14 games.

With Gurriel getting a good matchup against Martinez and a shaky A's bullpen, at plus money, he's a good bet to go Over 1.5 total bases for the ninth time in 15 games.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. prop pick: Over 1.5 total bases (+115)

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