The Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays square off on Friday with first pitch set for 7:07 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Rogers Centre in Toronto, and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. Jose Urquidy is scheduled to pitch for the Astros, and the Blue Jays are expected to go with left-hander Yusei Kikuchi
The Astros (10-9) lost two of three at home against these Blue Jays last weekend, but they rebounded by taking three out of four from the Texas Rangers this weekend, a series capped with a 3-2 Houston victory on Thursday. Kyle Tucker, who has really struggled at the plate this season, was the hero in that game as he belted a two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning to snap a 1-1 tie. Yordan Alvarez had an RBI single Thursday and is 6-for-13 over his past four games.
After their series win at Houston, the Blue Jays (13-7) returned home to win three out of four games against the Boston Red Sox. They won Thursday’s game, 1-0, behind another sterling performance from starting pitcher Alek Manoah. George Springer has recorded a multi-hit game in three of his past four and homered off of Urquidy when these teams met in Houston.
Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Pitchers: Jose Urquidy vs. Yusei Kikuchi
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
Astros local broadcast: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Blue Jays local broadcast: Sportsnet
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Moneyline odds: Blue Jays -120, Astros +100
Picks & predictions
Moneyline pick: Blue Jays -120
Kikuchi has looked pretty bad so far this season — 17.5% walk rate! — so this pick gives me a little pause, but the Blue Jays are 7-3 at home this season and just don’t have many weak spots right now. The Astros are still waiting for Jose Altuve to return from the injured list — probably Monday — and their bullpen is not at full strength with closer Ryan Pressly still on the mend.
Player prop pick: Gosuke Katoh U0.5 hits (-115)
The Blue Jays infielder made his first MLB start last week, and he has not been getting many at-bats toward the end of the batting order, making this a great bet if he takes the field Friday night. In just seven at-bats, he has just one hit. He’s been getting on base with walks in the small sample size, but that won’t do a whole lot for his hit total, so there’s a good shot he goes hitless once again.
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