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The Texas Rangers continue a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. Toronto took Friday’s series opener with a comfortable 10-2 victory as a massive -265 favorite in the first game after the All-Star break for both teams. Texas is in last place in AL West at 35-56, while Toronto holds third place in AL East at 46-42.
This is the second and final series between these clubs in 2021, after Rangers won two out of three at Arlington back in early April.
Rangers cannot handle Toronto offense
It has been a rebuilding season as expected for the Rangers and their second half got off to an unfortunate start as they were not competitive against the Blue Jays on Friday. The Rangers were shut down until the ninth inning when Eli White hit a two-run homer, but it was not close enough as the Blue Jays were in control from the first inning onwards.
Starter Jordan Lyles lasted four innings in the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits and three times while hitting three. Nate Lowe pulled a couple of walks and was aboard the Whites homer as the Rangers could not do much and generate only six hits for the game.
Texas has been better against the 44-47 spread and is down a moderate amount on the money line despite being a huge underdog in most of its matchups. Overs are 44-42-5 for the Rangers, with two of their last three games going over the overall effort.
Consistency on the plate has not been there for Rangers, who have an average of 4.10 runs per game. Match with a 0.687 OPS as team. Texas pitching is also inside the bottom 10 with a 4.46 ERA, where rotation and the bullpen post almost identical numbers.
Kolby Allard gets off to a flying start for the Rangers, who want to build on a strong first half as he put up a 3.69 ERA in 10 starts and eight bullpen appearances. The 23-year-old gets lost against Oakland Athletics last Sunday as he allowed four runs on five hits across six innings while hitting three. Gallo has been Texas’ top hitter with a 0.923 OPS, 24 homers, six steals and 52 RBI.
Texas is being mapped as a catch as Jose Trevino is sidelined by a forearm contusion, and the highly-anticipated prospect Sam Huff is still on a rehabilitation job in AA after undergoing knee surgery in March. First baseman Ronald Guzman also underwent knee surgery and will miss the rest of the year, while outfielder Willie Calhoun is far out with a broken forearm. Starting pitcher Kohei Arihara is still recovering from shoulder surgery, while Kyle Cody is closing in with inflammation of the shoulder. Relievers John King (shoulder inflammation) and Hunter Wood (elbow surgery) both recently went to IL and joined Matt Bush (elbow inflammation), Jose Leclerc (Tommy John surgery) and Jonathan Hernandez (Tommy John surgery).
The Blue Jays begin second-half push with blowout victory
Toronto will be a bit disappointing with its overall 45-42 record, but this is a list that is still very much in the playoffs and got off to a strong start after the break with an easy win over Texas. Just days after being named MVP of the All-Star Game, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched. two home runs where Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez and Randall Grichuk all went deep in the third inning alone.
Starter Robbie Ray continued his strong run with 6.2 shutout innings, allowing four hits and two while racking up eight strikeouts. Semien and Guerrero Jr. was at the base three times each, while Bo Bichette also recorded a multi-hit game.
The Blue Jays have been solid in terms of play with a 48-40 record against the spread and are just tight on the money line for the season. Overs are 40-45-3 for the Blue Jays after Friday’s game ended a race of three straight unders.
Few teams in baseball have sent better numbers on the record than the Blue Jays, who average 5.10 runs per game. Fight a 0.776 OPS to finish second behind the Houston Astros. Toronto pitching is just outside the top 10 with a 3.99 collective ERA, backed by a strong 2.96 K / BB ratio as staff.
Opening day starter Hyun Jin Ryu gets the ball on Saturday after 8-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 17 first half starts. Ryu took down the Baltimore Orioles last Wednesday, allowing a run of five hits and twice in five innings while racking up seven strikes. Guerrero Jr. is one of the best hitters in baseball at the age of 22 with a .332 / .430 / .658 line, 30 homers and 77 RBI.
Catcher Alejandro Kirk is on a rehabilitation assignment as he recovers from a strained hip flexor. Outfielder Corey Dickerson, who was acquired in a recent deal with the Miami Marlins, is equated with a foot contusion. Injuries have been a problem for the Toronto bullpen all season, and eight members are currently at IL, including Julian Merryweather (strained obliquely), Carl Edwards Jr. (strained oblique), Tyler Chatwood (strained neck), David Phelps (lazy surgery) and Kirby Yates (Tommy John surgery).
Trends via Covers.com. Toronto is:
- 2-6 in the last eight home games against a left-handed starter.
- 2-5 in the last seven games against AL West.
- Texas is 4-0 in its last four games against a left-handed starter.