MLB Betting Preview (April 1): Blue Jays vs. Astros Predictions

The Toronto Blue Jays will begin a three-game series with the Astros in Houston on Monday Night at Minute Maid Park.

Toronto split its first four games of the season against the Rays in Tampa Bay and will be playing the fifth contest of a daunting 10-game road trip to start the campaign. After three games with the Astros early this week, the Blue Jays will head to Yankee Stadium for a three-game weekend set.

Bet on Blue Jays vs. Astros

TOR +126
HOU -148

It’s been a disastrous start for the Astros, who were handed a four-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees at home to open the season. Houston was favoured in each contest but managed to score just 11 runs across the four games.

Let’s take a look at the best odds available for Monday’s series opener between these two teams:

Blue Jays vs. Astros best odds

Blue Jays Moneyline Odds+126 (FanDuel)
Astros Moneyline Odds-137 (Pinnacle)
Runline oddsAstros -1.5 (+148 – Pinnacle)
Blue Jays -1.5 (-156 – FanDuel)
Over/Under9 runs (over -108 – Pinnacle
under +102 – NorthStar Bets)
Time/DateApril 1, 8:10 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet 1

Betting Toronto Blue Jays (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 3-1 o/u)

The Blue Jays rallied behind right-hander Kevin Gausman to a convincing 9-2 victory on Sunday against the Rays to split the four-game series.

New Blue Jay Justin Turner led the way for Toronto, collecting three hits with a home run and four RBIs. Seven different Blue Jays recorded a hit in the affair, but slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was hitless on the day despite drawing three walks.

The Blue Jays are quite hobbled at the moment, with Bo Bichette (neck spasms) the latest member of the team to succumb to injury. He’s considered day-to-day so bettors will want to check in on his status before the game. He’s obviously a key piece of Toronto’s lineup. Relievers Jordan Romano (elbow) and Erik Swanson (forearm) are still out, which means Yimi Garcia and Chad Green will likely handle any high-leverage situations in this series. Starting catcher Danny Jansen (wrist) is also still on the shelf.

Betting Houston Astros (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS, 0-3-1 o/u)

The Astros made a huge splash in free agency this winter by signing closer Josh Hader to a lucrative five-year deal to solidify the back of their bullpen, but Houston’s bullpen struggled in the team’s opening four games, with relievers taking the loss in all four contests against the Yankees. The unit has coughed up five home runs and surrendered 12 earned runs through four games and carries a bloated 1.91 WHIP into this series against Toronto. It’s important to note that Hader has pitched in three of the team’s first four games, so his availability on Monday against Toronto is questionable due to fatigue.

Houston also struggled at the plate in clutch situations against the Yankees, stranding 34 baserunners while finishing just 8-for-41 with runners in scoring position. Slow starts from Jose Abreu (0-for-11), Yordan Alvarez (2-for-17) and Alex Bregman (3-for-15) have crippled the team’s ability to produce runs early.

Much like the Blue Jays, the Astros are also hobbled with injuries, particularly on the pitching side of things. Justin Verlander (shoulder), Jose Urquidy (forearm), Kendall Graveman (shoulder) and Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm) are all out.

Jose Altuve over 1.5 total bases


Probable pitchers

Toronto: RHP Bowden Francis (last season: 1-0, 1.73 ERA, 8.67 K/9, 0.83 WHIP)

Francis will be making his first career MLB start for the Blue Jays after making 20 relief appearances last season. A shoulder injury to Alek Manoah opened the door for the righty to claim the final spot in Toronto’s formidable rotation after he thrived in five spring training outings. Last year, opponents hit just .175 off him and he posted 35 strikeouts and eight walks in 36 1/3 innings.

Houston: RHP Ronel Blanco (last season: 2-1, 4.50 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 1.48 WHIP)

Much like Francis, Blanco is getting a chance to start the season in Houston’s rotation due to a rash of injuries. He made his first career start last June against the Los Angeles Angels and made seven in 2023, including one against Toronto on June 7, when he allowed just two runs on three hits with five strikeouts over six innings.


There’s an 80% chance of rain in Houston this evening, so the retractable roof will likely be closed.

  • The Blue Jays were underdogs in 44 games last season and won 23 (52.3%) of those contests.
  • The Astros were favourites in 125 games last season and won 63 (50.4%) of those contests.
  • As previously mentioned, the Astros are 0-4 straight-up and 0-4 against the spread to open the season.
  • If Bichette does suit up, he has one career homer off Blanco in three at-bats against him. The Blue Jays shortstop has recorded just two hits in his first 12 at-bats of the season but he does have a pair of RBIs.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is swinging the hottest bat for Toronto, slashing .308/.500/.538 through the first four games with a home run while drawing five walks. You can find the best odds on Vladdy going deep in this one at Sports Interaction (+340).
  • Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk has four RBIs through his first three games while collecting at least one in each contest. You’ll find the best odds for him to drive in a run at Sports Interaction (+185).
  • Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has a nine-game hitting streak dating back to last season, but you won’t find much value on him to record a hit. The best odds available are -250 at Betano.

MLB bets to consider

  • When teams are slumping they generally rely on their veteran stars to help break out of a funk. Let’s go with Altuve over 1.5 total bases (best odds +116 at Caesars) in this spot. He went deep on Sunday against the Yankees as part of a two-hit effort and he’s historically raked against Toronto, recording a .340/.386/.490 slash line with five homers and 19 RBIs in 28 career games against Canada’s squad.
  • Francis over 1.5 walks: -130 (Bet99). Francis averaged only two walks per nine innings last year as a reliever, but I’m betting his nerves get the best of him here in his first career start against a very intimidating lineup and he tries a little too hard to pick the corners and issues a few free passes as a result.