Videos by OutKick
We are hitting the final stretch of the 2023 MLB regular season. Every game for the Texas Rangers (78-64) and Toronto Blue Jays (80-63) is important. As of Monday, Toronto is 1.5 games ahead of Texas for the 1st AL Wild Card seed with the Seattle Mariners sandwiched between.
The Blue Jays are surging as the MLB playoffs approach and the Rangers are slumping. Toronto has won eight of its past 10 games and is 13-7 in the last 20. But, Texas is 3-7 in the last 10 games and 6-14 over the last 20.
Furthermore, the Blue Jays struggle against their AL East co-tenants, which is the toughest division in baseball. However, they crush the rest of MLB. Toronto is 30 games above-.500 vs. non-divisional foes (68-38).
My lone concern with the Blue Jays on Monday is the line is moving toward Texas. They opened as -145 favorites and are -128 in the consensus market. That said, Toronto has a three-phase edge over Texas on Monday in starting and relief pitching and hitting.
Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays
- First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET.
- Ballpark: Rogers Centre.
- Season series: Texas leads 2-1.
Toronto sends RHP Chris Bassitt (14-7, 3.69 ERA) to the mound Monday. Texas gives the ball to RHP Dane Dunning (9-6, 3.88 ERA). Bassitt has won back-to-back starts and pitches better at home.
He has a 2.83 home ERA (4.19 road ERA), 1.08 home WHIP (1.23 road WHIP), and 3.5 K/BB home rate (2.8 K/BB road rate). Bassitt’s K-rate is nearly 12% higher vs. active Rangers batters than Dunning’s against current Blue Jays hitters (29.7-17.9%), per MLB’s Statcast.
Also, Toronto’s bullpen ranks sixth or better in WAR and FIP (“fielding independent pitching”) whereas Texas’s bullpen is 25th or worse, according to FanGraphs. Plus, the Rangers relievers allow the most HR/9 as a unit.
Finally, the Blue Jays are mashing so far this month. In September, Toronto’s lineup is second in both wRC+ and wOBA and 1st in BB/K rate. While Texas’s lineup is 12th in wRC+, 13th in wOBA, and 9th in BB/K rate.
BET: Blue Jays (-135) moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook (down to -145)
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.