It's going to be a busy weekend for Toronto sports fans. The Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, and Raptors are all in action on Saturday. All three teams are playing particularly well of late, and while the Raptors' series against Philadelphia is likely to attract much of our attention since it's the start of the NBA playoffs, many bettors will be looking just as intently at the NHL and MLB action.
Saturday's home game in Toronto (5-3, 1st in the AL East) looks to be an excellent chance for the Blue Jays to pad their stats against a subpar team when they face Oakland (4-4, 2nd in the AL West) in a 3:00 pm EST start.
The Jays are off a good start this season and have to be pleased with their 3-1 home mark, so far. They're 5th in team batting facing the A's, the 21st-ranked hitting team.
Nonetheless, Oakland is off to a better start than was predicted. Many forecasters picked the A's as one of the worst teams in the AL.
OPINION (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
The A's will trot out RHP Paul Blackburn (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SO) who fared much better than the Blue Jays starter in his opening regular-season pitching appearance.
Jays LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (0-0, 16.20 ERA, 4 SO) had a no-decision thanks to the Jays' wild comeback in that game but was awful in his first start. While good pitchers often bounce back after poor efforts, we're not convinced this is reason enough to make Toronto such a heavy favourite.
Oakland won't be a popular pick with Toronto fans, but serious bettors probably will acknowledge this is where the value lies in this matchup.