MLB Picks: Braves vs. Blue Jays

Joe Catalano

Monday, May 27, 2013 3:40 PM GMT

Monday, May. 27, 2013 3:40 PM GMT

Coming off of a disappointing loss to the New York Mets, the Braves (30-19) have little time to rest, as they will travel to Canada on this Memorial Day to face Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays.

First-pitch is set for 7:05 pm ET at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada. Bet 365 Sportsbook lists the Braves as a -115 betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 9 runs.

A Sigh of Relief

Even though Toronto managed a 6-5 win over Baltimore, they’ll be happy to see the Orioles leave as Baltimore’s offense put an extreme amount of pressure on the Jays pitching staff. Now, the Jays face a Braves team that has to be tired and a little and disappointed from Sunday night’s 4-2 loss to the Mets.

Atlanta’s bats don’t carry the weight of the Orioles and this could possibly be a better matchup for Toronto.

Pitching Matchup

Veteran Tim Hudson (4-3, 4.98) takes the mound for Atlanta and he’ll be opposed by innings eater, Mark Buehrle (1-3, 5.90).

Both pitchers have had disappointing seasons but  this is a fairly even pitching matchup. Hudson is the right man for Atlanta to shake off of a loss while Buehrle can give the Jays bullpen a rest as he’s a 200 plus innings per season pitcher.

Hudson has been inconsistent in his most recent starts, but carries a lifetime 11-3 mark with a 2.79 ERA in 16 starts against Toronto. Mark Buehrle on the other hand, is coming off of an impressive no-decision in which he went 7 innings while giving up 2 runs on 4 hits against Tampa Bay in his last start. Previous to that, Buehrle had been ineffective.

Encarnacion and Bautista

Hudson has the unenviable task of facing two of the better hitters in the majors. Edwin Encarnacion had gotten off to a slow start, but has raised his batting average to a respectable .253. He leads the Blue Jays in home runs (13) and runs batted in (38). Encarnacion has a habit of making good contact with the ball and is a deadly hitter.

Jose Bautista on the other hand, has hit 50 home runs in a season. He’s not huge in stature, but is one of the top sluggers in the game. He leads the Blue Jays with a .295 batting average and has 11 home runs on the season. In the Baltimore series, Bautista didn’t go deep, but got on base often, setting Encarnacion up. In the 3 game series, he was 8 for 15.

In that series alone, no team scored less than 5 runs in a game and the baseball was going out of the park at a rapid pace. We can expect  some lower scoring between the Jays and the Braves.

Bounce Back Performance?

Starter Julio Teheran did everything that he was supposed to do when he took the mound at CitiField on Sunday Night Baseball, but the bullpen couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Dan Uggla absolutely clobbered a 7th inning home run to deep left field and that was a good sign because up until then, Justin Upton was the only source of power for the Braves.

Upton leads the majors with 14 home runs, but has been in somewhat of a drought himself. That said, he’s a lifetime 3 for 6 with 1 home run and 2 runs batted in against Mark Buehrle.

Atlanta desperately needs Jason Heyward to break out of a slump that has him currently hitting .163 on the season. Unless Heyward and Upton can turn it around, it will be up to Atlanta’s pitching staff to win this game and series because they don’t have the bats to match Cabrera, Bautista, Lind, and Encarnacion.

Need your MLB odds all in one place? Check out the SBR Odds page.

[gameodds]3/228092/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Outcome

Atlanta always finds a way to win, but they have to be down after last night’s loss to the Mets. The Blue Jays are battle- tested , coming off of a 6-5 win over Baltimore and it should carry over to this game. Look for the slight underdog Jays to pull off the upset.

Pick- Toronto +105 at Bet 365 Sportsbook

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Support the veterans!

comment here