The Toronto Blue Jays made a winning start to a critical homestand last night and they’ll be looking to pad the win column again this afternoon in Game 2 of their series with the Kansas City Royals.
Having already made up valuable ground in the AL wildcard race, the Blue Jays took another small step towards the postseason with a nail-biting 5-4 win yesterday, sparked by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s clutch two-run double in the 7th inning.
Though the Royals’ 44-98 record is the second-worst mark in the league, they gave Toronto a scare in the series opener. Kansas City is a massive underdog again here in the latest MLB odds, with James McArthur in the opener role against Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman.
Get the lowdown on this September 9 matchup with our free MLB picks and predictions for Royals vs Blue Jays.
Royals vs Blue Jays odds
Royals vs Blue Jays predictions
With a huge series against the Texas Rangers on deck next week, the Blue Jays need to take care of business here to keep their noses in front in the AL wildcard race. But the hosts love to do things the hard way.
Toronto needed another late rally to snatch last night’s game and had to survive a nervy 9th inning, but there’s no question that the Blue Jays have cranked things up at the plate this month, scoring five or more runs in six of their last seven games.
Picking the Toronto moneyline or runline tends to be a roller-coaster ride, so I’m riding with the offensive trends and taking the Over. Davis Schneider is on a historic tear and reached base four times last night, and the hosts also welcomed Bo Bichette back into the lineup.
With the Royals leaning on an opener assignment for James McArthur, and potentially Zack Greinke (1-14 this year) behind him, I see the Toronto bats clicking again. There’s a case to be made for the Kansas City offense too, as the visitors matched the Blue Jays’ nine hits last night and scored 23 runs in this week’s series against the Chicago White Sox.
These two teams served up nine runs yesterday despite a quiet start, and I’m counting on the bats coming to the party earlier this afternoon.
My best bet: Over 8.5 (+102 at Sports Interaction)
Royals vs Blue Jays same-game parlay
The Blue Jays are 5-2 so far in September and, despite the short odds, I’m adding their moneyline to the SGP, especially with the pitching mismatch to start the game.
I like the way both teams have been swinging the bat over the past week, so I’m also picking the BTTS 4+ runs prop. That’s hit in Kansas City’s last four games and in 11 of Toronto’s last 12 outings.
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Royals vs Blue Jays moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Blue Jays enter as big favorites at a hefty price north of -300, and they’ve won both of Kevin Gausman’s past two starts. A soft September schedule has helped Toronto post a 7-3 mark over its last 10 contests, and there have been some encouraging signs for the hosts during what’s been a short-handed stretch.
Even so, the hosts have shown an uncanny knack for stumbling just as they seem to be on track for the postseason — and the Blue Jays runline feels especially risky, despite the Royals’ 18-52 road record and the hosts’ 4-1 lead in the season series.
As well as Gausman has pitched this year, his ERA was 4.23 in August, and he’s allowed 15 runs in his past four starts.
Zooming out, the trends point to the Under today (a winner in 36 of Toronto’s last 65 games), but I’m putting more faith in the recent numbers. The Blue Jays have found another gear this month, with 47 runs already, and Kansas City has gone one better with 48.
That’s not all — the Team Total Over has cashed in for 24 of the Royals’ last 38 games.
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Trend to know
Kansas City’s offense has stepped up over the past month, with the Over hitting in 15 of the Royals’ past 25 games. Find more MLB betting trends for Royals vs. Blue Jays
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Royals vs Blue Jays game info
|Location:||Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON|
|Date:||Saturday, September 9, 2023|
|First pitch:||3:07 p.m. ET|
James McArthur (0-0, 10.13 ERA): The 26-year-old righty has pitched in nine games this year, including one start, and his ERA is heavily skewed by a disastrous first appearance in June, where he allowed seven runs in one inning. He’s settled down impressively since then and hasn’t given up a run in his last three appearances, but he faces a tough task today against the top of this Toronto lineup.
Kevin Gausman (10-8, 3.39 ERA): Gausman’s last start was shortened by a rain delay in Denver, but he still recorded five strikeouts in his four innings of work. Though his ERA in August was his highest monthly mark of the year, the Toronto righty’s 207 Ks is the third-most in the majors.
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