So Many Reasons to Shade Blue Jays with MLB Picks vs. Phillies

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 12:34 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 12:34 PM UTC

Before deciding how to play the MLB odds for Blue Jays vs. Phillies, note that tonight's match features right-handed starting pitchers, R.A. Dickey for Toronto, & Aaron Nola for Philadelphia.

Toronto at the “The City of Brotherly Love”
The Phillies and Blue Jays will open a short two game set on Tuesday. The opening pitch in Philadelphia is slated for 7:05 PM ET. These teams split the two games in Toronto earlier this year. A pair of right-handed starting pitchers will be on the mound today. Knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey will go for Toronto while Aaron Nola gets the nod for Philadelphia.


Starting Pitchers
R.A. Dickey is unbeaten during his previous five team starts, and he posted an excellent 1.49 ERA in those outings. Dickey is 2-0 versus Philadelphia since 2014 with a superb 1.26 ERA.

Aaron Nola has been a bit shaky during his previous four starts. The 22 year old hurler has posted a lofty 4.94 ERA during that time.  Nola will be facing arguably the most intimidating batting order in baseball today, and having to do so at a hitter friendly ballpark.


Surging Jays
Despite losing two of three to the Yankees this past weekend, Toronto has been firing on all cylinders of late. The Blue Jays enter tonight having gone 15-3 in their previous eighteen games. There’s never been any question how powerful an offensive lineup that they’ve possessed at any time this season. After all, they’ve smacked 158 home runs in 119 games so far, and the addition of Troy Tulowitzki at the trade deadline figures to enhance those numbers even more. Their starting pitching rotation has been bolstered by recently acquiring former Cy Young winner David Price by way of a trade with Detroit. As a matter of fact, their collective pitching performance has really been impressive during this recent hot streak. Toronto has allowed just 1.9 runs per game over their last nine contests.


Phillies Cool Down
Philadelphia headed into the all star break with a pathetic 28-60 record. However, the rest did them some good, and upon returning, they went 17-7 in their next twenty-four games. Unfortunately, since that time, they’ve dropped three in a row, and five of the last six. The Phillies bats have also cooled considerably during this recent cold spell, averaging just 2.5 runs per game in their previous six outings. Philadelphia pitchers have allowed 10 hits or more in 12 of their last 17 games, and that’s a bad sign when having to face such a powerful lineup (Toronto) in the next two days.


Final Analysis
Although Toronto won’t have the luxury of a designated hitter in Philadelphia, they’ll still be able to expose a vulnerable Phillies pitching staff. I also deem this starting pitching matchup tonight to be a mismatch. I like the Blue Jays to win this game in a convincing manner for one of my MLB picks on Tuesday. According to the MLB betting odds at Pinnacle, they provide the best value pertaining to a run-line wager.

MLB Picks: Play Toronto -1.5 (-101)

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