MLB Baseball: Oakland Athletics vs. Toronto Blue Jays Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 3, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 7:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Where to watch: NBCSCA, SNET, SNET-1

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Blue Jays -140, Athletics +120; Under 9 -120, Over 9 +100
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: Blue Jays -130, Athletics +120; Under 9 -120, Over 9 +100

Season record
Athletics: 74-60 (2nd place, AL West)
Blue Jays: 70-62 (4th place, AL East)

Larry Ness closed August having earned +$21,301 (at $100/unit) in MLB since Opening Day. He opened September with a 2-1 Wednesday (+$857), highlighted by his 10* win on Boston over the Tampa Bay Rays. 'Light' Thursday MLB card but you "won't want to miss" Larry's 10* Division Total of the Year (all O/U plays 8-4-1 in August MLB).

A’s - Blue Jays preview and analysis

Recent form
Athletics: 4-6 in last 10, won 4 of 5
Blue Jays: 6-4 in last 10

September is here, and we’re treated to the first series of playoff implications this month.

The Toronto Blue Jays, winners of four of their last five entering Thursday, are suddenly back in the American League Wild Card race.

A great showing in three home games against the Oakland Athletics this weekend in this crucial three-game series at Rogers Centre could shake things up in a big way. Game 1 of this series is Friday.

The Blue Jays are coming off a series in which they took two of three from the Baltimore Orioles that succeeded winning two of three at the Detroit Tigers. That run has pushed the Blue Jays to 4.5 games back of the second AL wild card spot, held by the Boston Red Sox.

Toronto will not be catching the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East

Oakland, who has won three of four including two wins against the New York Yankees at RingCentral Coliseum to split the four-game series (ending New York’s 13-game winning streak), trails Boston by two games. The A’s are still in the thick of things in the American League West, trailing the Houston Astros by five games with 29 to go.

So, yeah. Big game on Friday, big series overall.

This is the time where the stars shine the brightest, and none may not be brighter than the tear Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is on for the Blue Jays. The potential AL MVP is on a 10-game hitting streak that’s seen him bat .350 since Aug. 23 to go with three home runs and seven RBI.

Guerrero is one more blast from his first 40-homer season, and four RBI from reaching 100.

Oakland has found its footing since snapping its six-game losing streak. The A’s held the Yankees to three runs in the final two games of their series, then opened with a 9-3 win over the Tigers on Tuesday. Oakland will wrap things up with the Tigers on Thursday at Comerica Park.

Toronto and Oakland split the first four meetings this season, which happened back in early May. After being held to five runs in the first two games, Toronto erupted for 19 runs in the final two, 10 coming in the series finale May 6.

The matchup between pitchers Sean Manaea (8-9, 3.97 ERA) for Oakland and Alek Manoah (5-2, 3.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) for Toronto is going to be fun, but this series will be all about the long ball. If Guerrero keeps this pace going, it’s going to be a fun weekend for the Blue Jays.

Prediction


At home, with George Springer back in the lineup, this should be what propels the Blue Jays back to playoff contention. Like the Jays in this one. Toronto 6-4.

Betting trends


The A’s are 19-23 (+0.5 net games) as an underdog this season.

At -110 or higher, the Blue Jays are 48-36 (-12.3 net games) as a moneyline pick..

The over is 33-32 at Rogers Centre this season.

Players to watch


Athletics: Welcome back, Khris Davis. The former Oakland slugger, who was traded to the Texas Rangers before the season, returned to the A’s and went 2-for-3 with an RBI in his Oakland return on Thursday against the Tigers.

Blue Jays: Shortstop Marcus Semien hit his 33rd home run of the season Wednesday to put him one step closer of 40 homers and 40 doubles (34).

Projected lineup


Athletics:
Josh Harrison (R) 2B
Starling Marte (R) CF
Matt Olson (L) 1B
Matt Chapman (R) 3B
Jed Lowrie (S) DH
Mark Canha (R) RF
Tony Kemp (L) LF
Yan Gomes (R) C
Elvis Andrus (R) SS

Blue Jays:
George Springer (R) DH
Marcus Semien (R) 2B
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Bo Bichette (R) SS
Teoscar Hernandez (R) CF
Alejandro Kirk (R) C
Corey Dickerson (L) RF
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
Breyvic Valera (S) 3B

Statistical leaders


Athletics:
Batting average: Matt Olson (.275)
Hits: Matt Olson (126)
Home runs: Matt Olson (32)
RBI: Matt Olson (87)
Stolen bases: Starling Marte (20)
Wins: Chris Bassitt (12)
Saves: Lou Trivino (21)
ERA: Chris Bassitt (3.22)

Blue Jays:
Batting average: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.312)
Hits: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (152)
Home runs: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (39)
RBI: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (96)
Stolen bases: Bo Bichette (21)
Wins: Hyun Jin Ryu (12)
Saves: Jordan Romano (15)
ERA: Robbie Ray (2.71)

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert Major League Baseball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Oakland A’s - Toronto Blue Jays prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB odds, projections and previews. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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