Betting Baseball: Toronto Topples Atlanta in Afternoon Action

blue jays braves

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 3:59 PM GMT

Another four-game set of interleague action has Atlanta facing Toronto in the late afternoon before both head to the Deep South. Those betting baseball wonder if the Braves can sweep the Blue Jays in Canada?

Atlanta stopped Toronto's five-game winning streak with its biggest explosion of the month in a 10-6 triumph on Monday night. The sportsbooks' MLB odds favor the Jays to even the series; let's dig into the details.

 

Pitching Matchup: Garcia Vs. Estrada

Jaime Garcia (1-2, 4.43 ERA) at 30 never materialized into the type of pitcher St. Louis though he would, and they finally moved on from him this past offseason. Though his stuff always suggested something better, he never threw enough strikes. Case in point Garcia's current numbers with Atlanta, where he has 21 strikeouts compared to 18 free passes in only 35.1 innings. His .237 batting average allowed is excellent, just his command of the strike zone is poor. Garcia is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA vs. Toronto in his career.

Marco Estrada (2-2, 3.12) deserves a lot of credit. After being a fifth starter washout in Milwaukee, he worked hard to perfect his change-up and control and turned himself to an above-average starter. Despite his soft tosses, Estrada is averaging better than a strikeout per inning and opposing hitters have only connected for .227 batting average against him. The 33-year-old is 5-1 against the Braves with 3.00 ERA.

 

Braves Offense Up & Down, Blue Jays Seeking Stability

A look at Atlanta's offensive numbers over their past nine outings shows a season-long familiar pattern. Look at these offensive results from the Braves: 0-3-4-3-2-8-3-1-10.

Make no mistake, based on the team you are facing along with the opposing pitcher and bullpen, this will lead to fluctuations. Yet in Atlanta's case, there is little rhyme or reason. Other than Freddie Freeman (.452 OBP), Matt Kemp (.346 BA) and Nick Markakis (.392 OBP), when these players don't have great games, the offense labors.

Not having Josh Donaldson has left a huge void in the Toronto offense, which in part explains the Jays' 4.0 RPG average. The Blue Jays have recently picked it up of late to 5.0 in their last seven contests thanks to bashing more home runs. Nonetheless, until the batting average (.237) and on-base percentage (.300) improves, the Toronto offense will not carry this club like in the past.

 

Betting Odds, History & Bullpen Numbers

Many sportsbooks sent Toronto out as -160 favorites and by this morning, they were under -140 with total of 8.5. Since 2015, Atlanta hold a slight 4-3 edge and is 3-1 in Toronto, with the 'over' also 3-1. The Braves' bullpen has been an igniter, ranked 29th in ERA at 4.75. The Blue Jays are middle of the road (No. 16) at 4.15 ERA.

 

The Winner Is ...

For MLB picks, the inconsistency of Garcia, the Atlanta offense and bullpen, has me aligning with Toronto and keeping my fingers cross.

Free MLB Pick: Blue Jays -140Best Line Offered: Heritage

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