The Toronto Blue Jays were recently an answer to a trivia question at my local bar this Tuesday night. “What Major League Baseball team holds the longest streak of straight seasons without a playoff appearances with 21?”
The answer of course? The first-place Toronto Blue Jays. Except the Jays weren’t in first place at the time of the answer. Toronto has continued to reel off wins coupled with Yankee losses and what could have been foreseen on Tuesday night came true the day after. Toronto’s 10th straight win against Oakland on Wednesday pushed the Jays into first place in the AL East after New York dropped its fifth in a row. Now Toronto looks to get some space between them and the challengers going up against Sonny Gray tonight.
Gray has been just about as good as any pitcher in baseball this year. His 2.06 ERA is the third-best in baseball. He’s also one of eight starters around the league to hold a WHIP under 1.00. And while his strikeout numbers rank just a measly 23rd in MLB, he’s proven himself as one of the best starters the game has to offer at just 25 years old. The Blue Jays and their new acquisitions might be the toughest lineup in baseball today. With that said, Gray is certainly up to the challenge. He’s finished two of his last three starts and only given up two earned runs over that period.
Speaking of consistency, Mark Buehrle was one out shy back in a start in mid-June against the Mets from putting together a streak of 12 straight quality starts. Buehrle has shaken a very average start to the season to put together numbers reminiscent of what he could do in the prime of his career. He’s 12-5 with an ERA and WHIP that are actually both lower than his career marks. While the lefty seemed like more of a fade target early in this season, there’s a whole lot to like about what he should do against the A’s today. Simply, another quality start. If Buehrle does what he’s been doing for most of the season and Gray can just muster a weak performance (by his standards) this game should still fall under the posted 8.0. And that’s where we’re going.
Free Pick: Under 8 -115
YTD: 14-13-4 -2.04
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02