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Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Blue Jays’

Blue Jays vs. Braves Betting Odds & Prediction from Stephen Nover: May 18th 2017

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves
MLB Betting Prediction: Blue Jays -115 odds (May 18th 2017)

Freddie Freeman is one such player. He was hit in the left wrist by a pitch yesterday and won’t play today. It’s not just Freeman putting up MVP numbers: an NL-best 14 homers, .341 batting average, .457 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.211. The Braves have no one who can come close to adequately replacing Freeman. He is by far their best player. Light-hitting middle infielder Jace Peterson had just moved to third with Adonis Garcia on the DL. Now Peterson is likely to temporarily play first like he on Wednesday after Freeman was hurt. That was Peterson’s first time playing first base in his career. So the Braves suffer a double whammy – losing their best hitter and taking a hit defensively.

This is going to be a tough game for the Braves to be mentally focused. Not only is their concentration going to be off wondering about the status of Freeman, who had played every inning in every game until getting hurt, but the team is foaming at the mouth. The Braves are seething not only about Freeman getting hit by a pitch, but what they perceive as the hot dog antics of Jose Bautista, who is one of the more despised players in baseball.  Toronto, by contrast, is in stop-the-pain mode. The Blue Jays appeared to be turning their season around winning five in a row – until facing the Braves. Toronto is 0-3 in this series having lost the first two games at home to the Braves while falling, 8-4, in Atlanta last night. This is the Blue Jays’ last chance to salvage a game in the series.  The Blue Jays aren’t just favored, though, because Freeman is out. They have a pitching edge with a matchup of Marcus Stroman versus Julio Teheran.  Stroman has turned in six quality starts in his eight outings. He has a 2.87 ERA in his last five starts holding opponents to two runs or fewer in four of those starts. The Braves have never faced Stroman, giving him an element of surprise. Stroman has a proven track record during interleague going 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 11 games versus NL foes, including eight starts. Atlanta is 15-20 versus right-handed starters.  Teheran threw six shutout innings in a 3-1 victory during his last outing this past Saturday.

That was against the light-hitting Marlins at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. The buy sign is not there yet on Teheran. He still hasn’t proven he can pitch well at Atlanta’s new SunTrust Park. Teheran is 1-3 with a hideous 8.14 ERA in four home starts this season.  Early returns of SunTrust Park are that it is far more of a hitter’s park than Turner Field because of the way the ball carries. Teheran hasn’t solved his new park. The Braves haven’t been a good play when Teheran pitches at home in quite a while going 5-17 during his past 22 home starts.  Teheran has been less than stellar in interleague games, too, going 3-8 with a 4.87 in 14 contests versus the AL. He has a 6.60 ERA in three games against Toronto. The Blue Jays raked him for five homers in 15 innings.   Toronto has been disappointing up to this point. Not having Josh Donaldson hasn’t helped. But the Blue Jays still have more wins that Atlanta. The Braves are in rebuilt mode. Minus Freeman they are near expansion bad.

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Braves vs. Blue Jays MLB Odds & Pick from Brandon Lee: May 16th 2017

Atlanta Braves vs. Toronto Blue Jays
MLB Pick: Blue Jays -138 odds (May 16th 2017)

Toronto lost the series opener last night by a final of 6-10, in large part because of a bad showing from starter Mike Bolsinger, who gave up 6 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in less than 5 innings of work. I just don’t see Atlanta getting that same kind of offensive production today against Marco Estrada, who has allowed 2 earned runs (0.95 ERA) in 3 home starts this season. As for the Blue Jays offense, they continued to swing a hot bat in defeat yesterday and shouldn’t have much problem keeping it going against a struggling Jaime Garcia, who is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.415 WHIP (10 walks L2 starts combined) in 6 starts this season. Toronto is 7-2 over their last 9 and finally starting to play up to their potential, but are still be undervalued by the books after that slow start. Give me the Blue Jays -138!

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Betting Pick from Larry Ness: May 5th 2017

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays
MLB Betting Pick: Tampa Bay -134 odds (May 5th 2017)

These AL East rivals have seen a lot of each other in 2017, with the Rays taking three of four from Toronto in an early series at Tropicana Field and the Jays winning two of three when they played at Rogers Centre just last weekend.

Toronto’s recovered from a 1-9 start to go 8-10 its last 18 but at 9-19, the Jays own the worst record in MLB. It hasn’t helped that third-baseman Josh Donaldson (calf) has been sidelined since April 13 while shortstop Tulowitzki (hamstring) has been out since April 21. However, both could return early next week. The Rays beat Miami 5-1 on Thursday and have won three of their last four games, allowing just four runs in those three victories, to reach 15-15.

The two teams square off at Tropicana Field for the first of a three-game series Friday night. Francisco Liriano (2-2, 3.97 ERA) opens the series for Toronto, while Chris Archer (2-1, 3.43 ERA) will take the mound for Tampa Bay. Liriano beat the Rays last Saturday in Toronto, allowing just one run on four hits over five innings. Liriano is 3-3 with a 5.49 ERA in 12 career appearances (11 starts / teams are 5-6) vs the Rays but he has struggled this season with his control, so far. He’s walked 15 batters in just 22.2 innings.

Chris Archer is off a ‘nightmare’ season in 2016, when he went 9-19 with a 4.02 ERA in 33 starts. The Rays were 10-23 in those starts, giving him a MLB-worst minus-$1553 moneyline mark. Archer has gone win-less in his last three outings (0-2 with a 4.74 ERA / team is 1-2) but in his most recent start (April 30), he allowed just one ER on four hits in a no-decison against the Blue Jays (Toronto won 3-1). He is 6-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 21 career starts against the Blue Jays (Rays are 12-9).

Archer already owns two good starts against Toronto in 2017 (1.80 ERA) but has had to settle for two no-decisions. He’s handled the Blue Jays well, giving two ERs or less in 12 of his last 13 starts against them. Considering that the Jays are only 6-11 on the road (allowing 5.9 RPG) to open the season and that the Rays are 10-5 at home, where they have averaged 5.20 RPG, make Archer and Tampa Bay the play.