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Houston Astros vs. Toronto Bluejays Prediction, Analysis, Preview:

Yariel Rodriguez vs. Hunter Brown in Monday Matinee in Toronto.

The Houston Astros (41-41) make the trip to Toronto for a 4-game set against the Toronto Bluejays (38-45) at the Rogers Centre.

  • Monday, July 1st, 3:07 First Pitch!

  • Pitching Matchup - visiting Hunter Brown vs. home pitcher Yariel Rodriguez.

Betting Odds: HOU ML (-148), TOR ML (+124), O/U 8.5 (-115): Odds Courtesy of DraftKings

Recent Performances

The two teams here are on opposite sides of things when it comes to recent records and ability to win games. The Toronto Bluejays' recent struggles (3-7) have been severely overlooked due to the recent slugging of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. However, the Bluejays find themselves at the bottom of the AL East. The Houston Astros are on quite the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to their recent performance... They're riding an 8-2 record in their last 10 and now find themselves in 2nd among the AL West just 4.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners. The Houston Astros have a season run differential of +28 and the Toronto Bluejays have the 5th worst run differential in the MLB at an astounding -51. Both teams come off no off day as they are only 2 of 6 teams that do not get an off day since we only have a small 3-game slate for Monday. All this means is that we have a lot fewer opportunities to beat the books so we have to take advantage!

Vladimir Guerrero quiets the crowd after a HR.

H2H This Season...

This will be the 2nd series between these two teams this season. The first series was way back at the beginning of April in a 3-game set in which the Houston Astros outscored the Toronto Bluejays 19-2 and took two out of three games. This first-game pitching matchup should be very interesting with two young pitchers: Hunter Brown (25) vs. Yariel Rodriguez (27)... The only difference between these? Hunter Brown was a top prospect and has found himself pitching in and out of the majors since the 2022 season. Rodriguez made his MLB debut this season and has a 5.94 ERA on 5 starts this year. Coming back from injury, Rodriguez made his first Major League start since the end of April on June 21st where he got lit up for 4 ER and only pitched 1.1 IP. His return from injury did not go as planned and that could be why we are seeing him start after a full skip through the rotation. On the other hand, Hunter Brown is heating up thus far in June with a 1.16 ERA in 5 starts which is a GREAT bounceback from April where Hunter Brown was a constant fade earning himself an 11.84 ERA in April alone.

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Yes, I understand how good Hunter Brown has been... but what do I know about pitchers after having 5 to 6 straight quality starts at this age? They're usually due to get blown up and this seems like a time when Hunter Brown could see himself struggle. Two main splits that Hunter Brown does not match up well with for Monday's game: Home/Away, and Day/Night. This game gets a funky start time of 3:07 on a Monday and Houston had a very late departure from New York after their game against the Mets got delayed for over an hour before resuming. This little tweak of a schedule change affects every pitcher differently but a young guy like Hunter? Oh boy. In day games, Hunter Brown has an 8.14 ERA (3.03 in NIGHT games). In-home games, his ERA is 3.44, when on the ROAD this number jumps up to 5.87. These two splits are not ideal for the young RHP. Hunter Brown is also worse vs. RHB (.266) which the Toronto Bluejays run 6 in their lineup daily. On the other side of the bump, we have Yariel Rodrigues who well.. stinks. This guy has been atrocious in the MLB thus far with a 0-2 record and a 5.94 ERA in 5 starts. These two bullpens also got lit up in their Sunday day games: The Toronto Bluejays used 5 relievers all of which threw 10+ pitches. These numbers may not seem all that crazy but for relievers, this short-term usage is what they're used to, and will be pretty fatigued coming into a day game. The Houston Astros used 6 relievers 5 out of the 6 throwing for 10+ pitches and 3 throwing 20+ pitches. Both bullpens are pretty taxed so if any of the starting pitchers are to struggle... there aren't exactly a lot of rested arms to come in relief. The Astros bats have also been quite impressive gathering 19 runs in the last two games alone. The Bluejays had a very hot and cold couple of days against the Yankees .... Starting with a 9-2 win, followed by a 16-5 loss, a 9-3 win, and finally an embarrassing 8-1 loss which was never even close from the jump. Either way, we learned that these bullpens have gone through the wringer and the offenses are heating up. I'll take this game to go over the 8.5 with flying colors for a little mid-day Monday sweat!

Bluejays Celebrate after a walk-off win at the Rogers Centre.

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