It is the series finale for the Dodgers and Blue Jays and for those betting baseball it is the rubber game, with Clayton Kershaw and Los Angeles prevailing yesterday afternoon 6-2.
The Dodgers head home after this American League road trip and they hope to make it a winning win one, now 2-2. Toronto has its four-game winning streak snapped Saturday and will be heading west to play San Francisco beginning tomorrow night and of course would love to go sit on a plane for hours at least on a winning note.
The Blue Jays are good-sized favorites to take the series, but are they the right choice for MLB picks?
Maybe Ross Stripling (0-2, 4.33 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) should have gone for the no-hitter in his first start. The 26-year old was pulled after 7 1/3 innings with a no-no because of pitch count. In retrospect, it seemingly would have hardly mattered since remains winless with a 5.49 ERA in past four starts. Stripling does not have overwhelming stuff, but has enough to be a back of the rotation hurler. His problem is being too careful and falling behind hitters.
Marco Estrada (1-2, 2.64, 1.17) was merely serviceable in his time with Milwaukee, however, he has found a home in Toronto and been very good in the middle of the Blue Jays rotation. His velocity did take a dip and he can gotten by with an excellent changeup. Prefers to pitch backwards, meaning throws best pitch first and confuses batters with ordinary fastball when ahead in count with two strikes.
After scoring 11 total runs in a 1-6 homestand, the Los Angeles bats have perked up, averaging six runs a game on the road. Chase Utley (.297 BA, .396 OBP) and Adrian Gonzalez (.288 BA) have led the charge, but if the Dodgers are going to better than 4.3 RPG, Yasiel Piug (.236) and others are going to have to swing the lumber more effectively.
After averaging 5.5 RPG last season, Toronto could approach the quarter point of the season averaging more than a run less per contest (4.2). It has been a group effort with almost everyone below career norms, especially Jose Batista (.218, 6 HR’s) and Troy Tulowitzki is at hard to comprehend .167 average. There is a real deadness about this group as a whole and they will have to perk up if the Jays are to win the AL East again.
Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The MLB odds at BetDSI opened with Toronto at -165, with total of 8.5. Because these teams only meet maybe every three years because of schedule rotation, not any history to report.
Toronto’s bullpen has the edge in earned runs allowed at 3.61 compared to L.A. 4.26 and that is largely due to Dodgers’ chuckers putting more runners on base due to walks.
Toronto should be favored because they are at home, have the better starting pitcher and the advantage in the bullpen. Of course those factors do not always work out.
Digging deeper into the numbers we find the Dodgers have a long history of interleague road failure at 33-67 in last 100 assignments. The Blue Jays might have been stumped by Kershaw, yet are 6-1 facing a right-handed pitcher from the NL. Finally, when Estrada is on the mound in Game 3 of a series, he and Toronto are solid 9-3 in the last dozen scenarios.
Free MLB Play – Toronto wins