Toronto won 11 straight games, then ran into Mets, & lost twice. But this handicapper believes Jays can return to those winning ways when the teams meet at Rogers Centre tonight.
Mets-Jays Wednesday Betting Odds
Most books we consulted opened their betting on tonight's game with Toronto in the -160/-170 range, then bumped that price a couple of dimes, at least. As of this writing the best price we could find on the Jays and Drew Hutchison was the -187 offered at BetOnline, while New York and Jon Niese could be found getting +180 at 5Dimes.
Toronto rolled into New York to open this series riding an 11-game winning streak, but the Mets took both games at Citi Field, by scores of 4-3 (in 11 innings) Monday and 3-2 Tuesday. The teams now move “North of the border,” as they say, for games Wednesday and Thursday.
New York is 5-1 over its last six games, and at 36-30 now leads the NL East by a game and a half over second-place Washington.
The Jays, meanwhile, at 34-32, are two games back in the AL East, and just one game back in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Moving to an AL ballpark returns the DH to the Jays lineup for the next two games of this series, while New York will probably use Mike Cuddyer and/or Curtis Granderson at DH.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Hutchison (5-1, 5.75) is only 5/13 on quality starts this season, alternating good and bad over his last half-dozen outings. Three weeks ago he threw a complete-game shutout against the White Sox; then he gave up four runs in less than six innings against Minnesota; then he held Houston to one run through six innings; but last Friday he got bombed by Boston for eight runs in less than three innings. Perhaps he's in line for a bounce-back effort tonight.
For the season Hutchison has allowed more hits, 82, than innings pitched, 72; thanks to some nice run support the Jays are 8-5 in Hutchison's starts, with the OVERS going 9-4.
This will be Hutchison's first-ever start against the Mets.
Niese (3-6, 4.24) is only 5/12 on quality starts this season, and by our tough accounting just one for his last six. Last Thursday he held San Francisco to two earned runs through seven innings of a game New York eventually won 5-4. But over his previous five starts Niese got nicked for 23 ER through 26 innings. On the season Niese has allowed more hits, 84, than innings pitched, 70; New York is only 4-8 in Niese's starts, with the OVERS going 8-2, and neither of those numbers are indicative of a pitcher having a good season.
This will be Niese's first start against Toronto since the last time these teams met, back in 2012.
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Wednesday's Batting Splits
Toronto's is the best lineup in baseball against left-handed pitching this season; the Jays lead the Majors vs. lefties, by large margins, with their .372 team OBP and .504 slugging percentage.
New York, meanwhile, ranks 22nd against right-handed pitching this season with a .305 team OBP, and 29th with a meager .368 slugging percentage.
New York is still playing without 3B David Wright and 2B Daniel Murphy; we've been waiting for their absences to take a toll on the Mets, but so far they've been beating our expectations.
Ballpark Totals Factor
The UNDERS are 17-13 in games played at Rogers Centre this season, even though Jays home games are averaging a healthy 9.4 runs per. Obviously, oddsmakers are posting some big numbers for Toronto home totals.
Mets-Jays Wednesday Free Picks
Toronto was hot going into Monday, scoring runs in bunches, and we believe the Jays will regain a little of that mojo playing at home tonight. And we're willing to take a chance on the wager itself, so we'll give the run and a half on the run line. Also, we could easily see this game getting to 6-3 and beyond, so we're thinking OVER.