Oakland Athletics vs Toronto Blue Jays Picks and Predictions June 9th 2024

Oakland Athletics vs Toronto Blue Jays MLB Sun, Jun 9, 16:07 pm.
Oakland Athletics
ML: 118
Toronto Blue Jays
ML: -128

Blue Jays Turn to Bullpen in Series Finale vs. Athletics: Analysis

The Toronto Blue Jays are set to rely heavily on their bullpen as they aim to win the series finale against the Oakland Athletics. With starter Alek Manoah out for the season due to upcoming elbow surgery, the Blue Jays are turning to a bullpen day strategy. The Athletics will counter with right-hander Mitch Spence, setting the stage for an intriguing matchup.

Blue Jays’ Bullpen Strategy

Recent Performances

Toronto’s bullpen is well-rested going into Sunday’s game. The Blue Jays got eight strong innings from Chris Bassitt in a 2-1 loss on Friday and a complete game shutout from Kevin Gausman in a 7-0 win on Saturday. Consequently, their bullpen has thrown only one pitch over the past two games, a walk-off home run by Oakland’s JJ Bleday on Friday.

Key Pitchers

  • Bowden Francis: The right-hander (2-2, 9.00 ERA) will make the start. In his last outing, Francis struggled in relief, allowing four runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles. However, he has pitched well against Oakland in the past, throwing two hitless, scoreless innings in relief.
  • Trevor Richards: Expected to pitch in some capacity, Richards (1-0, 2.93 ERA) delivered two scoreless innings with four strikeouts in his last appearance against Baltimore. Richards has a 3.86 ERA over seven career appearances against the A’s.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider highlighted the flexibility of his bullpen: “(You) know that you have some length out of those guys (Sunday).”

Athletics’ Counter: Mitch Spence

Recent Form

The Athletics will start right-hander Mitch Spence (4-3, 3.86 ERA). Spence is coming off a strong six-inning performance in a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, allowing just one earned run. Over his last four starts, Spence has given up a total of seven runs but has only one win due to limited run support from the A’s offense.

Matchup Against the Blue Jays

Spence has not faced the Blue Jays in his career, which could present an element of unpredictability. His ability to maintain his recent form will be crucial for Oakland to stay competitive in the series finale.

Key Game Developments

Streaks Ended

  • Blue Jays: Toronto broke a 29-game streak of not scoring in the first inning on Saturday, thanks to a wild start by Oakland’s Luis Medina and a sacrifice fly by Danny Jansen.
  • Athletics: Oakland’s 16-game streak of games decided by three runs or less ended with Saturday’s 7-0 loss, highlighting their struggle to compete offensively.

Managers’ Perspectives

  • Mark Kotsay: Despite the recent loss, Kotsay expressed pride in his team’s competitive spirit during the stretch of close games. “It’s a good feeling that you go out and 16 games you’re competitive, you have a chance to win,” Kotsay said.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Bullpen Day: Toronto’s strategy relies on a well-rested bullpen, with key contributions expected from Bowden Francis and Trevor Richards.
  2. Pitching Matchup: Mitch Spence’s recent form and lack of previous encounters with the Blue Jays add an element of unpredictability.
  3. Streaks Ended: Both teams ended significant streaks in their previous games, impacting their momentum going into the finale.


The series finale between the Blue Jays and Athletics will be a test of bullpen depth for Toronto and consistency for Oakland’s Mitch Spence. The Blue Jays are well-positioned with a rested bullpen, while the A’s will look to bounce back from Saturday’s lopsided defeat. The outcome will hinge on the effectiveness of Toronto’s bullpen strategy and Spence’s ability to contain the Blue Jays’ lineup.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sun, Jun 9, 07:18 am.
Oakland Athletics
O 8
Toronto Blue Jays
U 8
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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