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Picks, predictions for Blue Jays vs. Rangers on Friday, June 16

Erik Buchinger shares his top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for Blue Jays-Rangers on Friday, June 16.

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

AL heavyweights collide as the Toronto Blue Jays (38-32) and Texas Rangers (42-26) start a three-game weekend series on Friday, June 16. First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. ET from Globe Life Field in Arlington. Toronto will send ace Kevin Gausman (5-3, 3.12 ERA) to the mound against Texas lefty Martin Perez (6-2, 4.67).

The Blue Jays are -145 moneyline favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, making the Rangers +125 underdogs with the over/under set at nine.

Blue Jays-Rangers picks: Friday, June 16

Injury report

Blue Jays

Out: 1B Brandon Belt (hamstring), RP Zach Pop (hamstring), SP Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow), RP Chad Green (elbow)


Day to day: SP Jon Gray (blister)
Out: UTIL Brad Miller (oblique), SP Jacob deGrom (elbow), SP Glenn Otto (shoulder), SP Jake Odorizzi (arm), RP Brett Martin (shoulder)

Starting pitchers

Kevin Gausman vs. Martin Perez

Gausman will make his 15th start of the season, and the righty has been excellent aside from a couple of blow-up outings — he’s had three starts where he allowed at least six runs and gave up one or zero runs eight times this season. His splitter is among the very best pitches in baseball, and batters haven’t been able to figure it out all year (89th-percentile chase rate, 93rd-percentile K rate).

Perez has made 13 starts this season, and he’s seen mixed results to this point after a strong 2022 season. The lefty has allowed six or more runs in two of his last three starts, though there was an outing where he allowed no earned runs over seven innings in between.

Over/Under pick

It’s tough to know what to expect from Perez, but this could be a strong opportunity to buy low on a bounce-back performance from both. These are two of the top four offenses in on-base percentage, but with Gausman keeping everyone in check these days, let’s side with the under on Friday night with a big number to hit.

Pick: Under 9

Moneyline pick

Both starters have been somewhat inconsistent to different degrees, but Gausman is putting together a much stronger season to this point. I have more trust in him than Perez, so let’s go with Toronto to pick up a victory as the favorite in this spot.

Pick: Blue Jays