Astros, Blue Jays American League Best Bets for August 4

There are multiple games today beginning this afternoon on the American League schedule, and there’s value to target in these spots. Below, you can find both games from the American League and some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Houston Astros (-188) vs. Cleveland Guardians (+158) Total: 8 (O -115, U -105)

The Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians will kick off a four-game series tonight from Progressive Field. The AL West-leading Astros are coming off losing two-of-three games to the Boston Red Sox, while the Guardians won two-of-three over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros lead their division by a whopping 11 games, while the Guardians sit just one game behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central and one game back in the Wild Card race. Even with the Astros big divisional lead, they haven’t played great baseball since the All-Star break, with a record of 4-6 over their past ten. Meanwhile, the Guardians are 6-4 over that same stretch. This series could go a long way in keeping the Guardians in the playoff race, but things will be difficult in this opener against one of the best pitchers in baseball. 

Pitching has been a strong suit of both clubs, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the opening meeting features a pitching duel. Justin Verlander, the current frontrunner for the AL Cy Young, will take the hill for the visiting Astros, while the Guardians will counter with Zach Plesac. Verlander has been nothing short of tremendous this season, owning a 14-3 record with a 1.81 ERA and 122 strikeouts, while Plesac has been solid for the Guardians, at 2-9 with a 4.33 ERA and 79 punchouts. The Astros will have a significant advantage on the mound, and the moneyline reflects that at -188. 

The Astros have been struggling, and the Guardians have been playing solid baseball, but this is a perfect opportunity for the visitors to get back on track. Verlander has been unhittable, and it will be a tall task for the Guardians’ hitters to change that. The price of the Astros on the moneyline isn’t worth considering, but there’s value on the run line at -115. 

Best Bet: Astros run line (-115)

Toronto Blue Jays (-124) vs. Minnesota Twins (+106) Total: 8.5 (O -105, U -115)

The Minnesota Twins will host the Toronto Blue Jays for a four-game series beginning tonight from Target Field. The Blue Jays are coming off a split in a two-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Twins won two-of-three games over the Detroit Tigers. Toronto currently occupies the first Wild Card position in the American League, while the Twins have a one-game lead over the Guardians for the top spot in the AL Central. Aside from the Astros and New York Yankees, the AL playoff picture is still wide open, so teams will be playing for seeding down the stretch. The Twins have been a little bit of a surprise team this year, while the Blue Jays have underachieved. However, the Jays are picking things up in the second half. 

Both sides improved at the trade deadline, and the opening pitching matchup of this series should draw in viewers. Alek Manoah of the Blue Jays has been excellent in his sophomore campaign, while Sonny Gray has gotten back on track for the Twins. The Blue Jays’ big righthander has posted an 11-5 record with a 2.43 ERA and 114 strikeouts, while Gray is 6-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 69 punchouts. Both of these high-quality arms can pitch a gem on any slate, but it’s hard to see Manoah recording back-to-back poor outings, which he has yet to do this season. 

The Blue Jays deserve consideration in this spot on the moneyline. Manoah has been the most consistent arm in the Blue Jays rotation, and he’s well positioned to get back in the win column to kick off this series. The visitors are priced at -124 on the moneyline, and that’s still an appetizing price to consider on tonight’s slate of games. 

Best Bet: Blue Jays moneyline (-124)