The Los Angeles Angels (5-2,1-0 away) and Toronto Blue Jays (3-4, 0-1 home) continue their four-game series with game two on Friday night. Los Angeles took game one, 7-5, on extra innings.
Friday’s American League contest is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. EST first pitch at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, FL. The Angels are the moneyline favorite, while the total is set at 10.5 runs.
What to Know – Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have won four of their last five contests to put themselves near the top of AL West standings through the first week of the season. After beginning the season with a six-game homestand, Los Angeles is on the road for a pair of series last seven games.
Lefty Andrew Heaney toes the rubber in his second start of the season. Heaney was roughed up in his season debut, allowing seven earned runs over 3.0 innings pitched. The 29-year old finished the 2020 season with a 4-3 record and 4.46 ERA.
All-Star outfielder Mike Trout continues to abuse opposing pitching, leading the Angels with ten hits collected this season. Trout is batting .417 (10-for-24) with three home runs, seven runs scored, and six driven in.
First baseman Jared Walsh has gotten off to a hot start as well at the plate. The 27-year old leads the team with seven RBI and is batting .333 (7-of-21).
The Angels bullpen has held its own early on in the 2021 campaign. Closer Raisel Iglesias has been shaky in a couple of outings but closed the door last night for his second save of the year.
What to Know – Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto is trying to avoid a four-game losing skid when they take the field Friday night. The Blue Jays have struggled to manufacture runs, averaging under three runs per game.
T.J. Zeuch is back on the mound for the host. The right-hander tossed 4.0 scoreless innings in his opener, scattering three hits, walking one, and collecting one strikeout. Zeuch is making a couple of spot-starts for the Blue Jays while they bring back expected starters from injury.
Toronto’s .214 team batting average needs raised as the Blue Jays fall in the back half of the league leaders in team BA. Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is doing his part, batting .348 (8-of-23) with a pair of home runs, five RBI, and four runs scored.
Shortstop Marcus Semien is only hitting .200 (6-for-30), but the 30-year old veteran leads the Blue Jays with three home runs and two stolen bases. Outfielder Randal Grichuk is also off to an excellent season, adding five RBI and three runs scored with a .333 (8-of-24) average.
The Blue Jays pitching has been superb, sporting a 3.12 ERA through seven games. Toronto’s bullpen has held its own, led by closer Julian Merryweather (0.00 ERA, two saves, seven Ks), who stepped into the closer role when Kirby Yates went down with a season-ending injury.
The Pick is In
Look for Heaney to bounce back after a terrible first start and the Angels offense to feast on the inexperience of Zeuch. Toronto will plate some runs, but the Angels will score early and often against Toronto.
The Pick: Los Angeles Angels ML