Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#963 Los Angeles Angels -155 vs.
#964 Toronto Blue Jays 10.5
Monday, June 17, 2019 at 7:07pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays

When and Where: Monday, June 17, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 7:07 p.m. EDT.

The Los Angeles Angels are set to get another piece of their offensive puzzle back Monday night when Justin Upton is expected to make his season debut versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

Angels hope Upton can bring pop to lineup

Upton, who has recorded back-to-back 30-homer seasons after belting 30 in 2018, has been sidelined since March with a sprained left big toe. His return gives Los Angeles a potent 2-3-4 part of its lineup that features Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani hitting ahead of the slugger.

“It’ll be good to have him back,” manager Brad Ausmus told The Los Angeles Times before Sunday’s 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. “Obviously, he’s been an offensive performer for a long time. It’s a big bat to add to our lineup.”

Upton’s 178 home runs from 2013-18 rank tied for ninth among all players in that span. The Angels are in the middle of the pack in the American League in home runs with 101 in 72 games, paced by Trout’s 18. Ohtani, though, has eight in just 33 games since recovering from Tommy John surgery and being able to serve as designated hitter.

Los Angeles will be using Luis Garcia (1-1, 4.68 ERA) as an opener for the second time this year as it begins the second leg of its three-city, 11-game road swing. Garcia’s only other appearance as an opener came May 30 when he tossed a scoreless inning against Seattle.

The right-hander made two appearances in the series versus Tampa Bay, giving up three runs on Friday in two-thirds of an inning and retiring the only batter he faced Sunday while throwing just two pitches.

The last time this spot in the rotation came up, the Angels opted to use Cam Bedrosian as an opener, but he made relief appearances Thursday and Saturday.

Jackson looks to get by without opener for Jays

Edwin Jackson (1-4, 10.22) looks to take care of things without help from an opener as he gets the ball to begin this series for Toronto.

The right-hander followed Derek Law on Wednesday at Baltimore and tossed five solid innings, giving up two runs and four hits, as he picked up the victory in Toronto’s 8-6 triumph.

“I wasn’t opposed to it, necessarily,” Jackson told the team’s official website about playing behind an opener in the first time of his career. “… With the managerial changes and switch-ups, it’s all about the team at the end of the day, and I’m a team player.”

Still, Jackson has been hit hard in his five appearances for the Blue Jays as opponents are batting .364 and have 23 extra-base hits — nine of them home runs — in just 24 2-3 innings. The righty, though, is looking to win a fifth consecutive start against the Angels and enters this contest 6-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 11 career starts versus the AL West team.

Jackson beat Los Angeles twice last year, limiting the Angels to two runs in 12 2-3 innings while striking out 13. It also did not hurt that Oakland backed him with 19 runs in those outings.

Upton is 8 for 21 with a homer versus Jackson while Trout has a pair of solo homers in six at-bats. Jonathan Lucroy is hitting .375 (12 for 32) in their matchups with four doubles and two home runs.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This pick is as more anti-Jackson than it is pro-Angels given the veteran right-hander’s struggles prior to his solid outing last time out. Garcia does not inspire much confidence, but Los Angeles did fare well in splitting its four games with Tampa Bay, and facing a Blue Jays that has dropped nine of 13 at home, the Angels are the pick.

Prediction: Angels -1.5 runs (-110)

Full-Game Total Pick

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Though the number did come in higher than expected, the over is still the play, . It has trended strongly with Toronto at home, going 9-3-1 in the last 13 games north of the border and 3-0-1 in its last four versus AL West teams. The over is also 8-2-3 in Los Angeles’ last 13 road contests.

Prediction: OVER 11 runs (Even)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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A big number, yes, but also reachable considering Jackson himself gave up six or more runs in his previous four starts before following an opener last time out. Opponents have also scored six or more runs in the last five games he has pitched, and the Blue Jays have yielded six or more runs in eight of their last 11 games overall.

Prediction: Angels OVER 6 runs (Even)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Laying the half-run is the better play here than the -200 on the Angels on the money line. Los Angeles has led after five innings in four of the last five times Ausmus has used an opener, and Toronto has led after five innings just twice in its last 11 games (2-7-2).

Prediction: Angels -0.5 runs (-110)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Another pick against Jackson, coupled with the fact the five-inning over has posted an 8-1 mark in Toronto’s last nine home games. The five-inning over is also 4-1 in the Angels last five games overall and 6-2 when they use an opener.

Prediction: OVER 6 runs (-110)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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There is more than just anti-Jackson sentiment behind this pick as Ohtani is coming off a series in which he went 7 for 16 and Trout is hitting .396 (18 for 46) in his last 13 games in Toronto. Jackson, though, tips the scale in the over’s favor as he has an ERA of 7.50 and higher in each of the first three innings while giving up a combined 26 runs and 30 hits in the first three frames this year.

Prediction: Angels OVER 1.5 runs first 3 innings (-125)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.