The Atlanta Braves have some uncertainty in their rotation right now, and as of this writing, they don’t know who will be starting Wednesday’s home interleague matchup against Toronto. The MLB odds will depend on that decision, but we’ll provide our best guess.
Toronto at Atlanta Game Preview & MLB Betting Pick
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) 11 de julio de 2018
- When: Wednesday, 7:35 PM ET
- Where: SunTrust Park, Atlanta
- Probable Pitchers: Sam Gaviglio/TBA
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: TuneIn
- MLB Betting Lines: TBA
Recent Head to Head for Blue Jays vs Braves (Last 10 Games)
- Runs: Toronto Blue Jays 5.50 / Atlanta Braves 4.80
- Hits: Toronto Blue Jays 8.70 / Atlanta Braves 9.10
- Walks: Toronto Blue Jays 4.20 / Atlanta Braves 2.60
- Strikeouts: Toronto Blue Jays 6.30 / Atlanta Braves 7.90
Why Bet on Toronto?
This is pretty much a lost season for the Jays, but some good news could be on the way as mega-prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is expected to be promoted to Triple-A Buffalo after returning from his strained left patellar tendon. Guerrero was very close to a promotion to Triple-A before injuring his knee in early June. He ramped up baseball activities in recent days and was set to start running the bases this week. He’s likely not far off from returning to game action. Guerrero, 19, owns a .407/.457/.667 batting line with 11 home runs, 18 doubles, and 55 RBI in 53 games this season at the Double-A level. He could find his way to the majors later this summer.
The Blue Jays split their two-game series with the Braves at Rogers Centre last month. They are now 22-24 all-time in regular season play against them (4-2 in the 1992 World Series). Toronto went 14-7 against Atlanta from 1997-2008, but have gone 8-17 since then.
Curtis Granderson leads all current Blue Jays with 11 career homers and 31 RBI vs. Atlanta. He has hits in each of his last five games against them, going 6-for-16 (.375) with 4-2B, 1-HR and 2-RBI in those contests. Granderson leads all current Blue Jays with 41 career homers and 98 RBI in interleague games. His 41 HR are 7th most among all active players. Aledmys Diaz is 13-for-28 (.464) in his eight career games vs. the Braves.
This season Toronto pinch-hitters have combined to go 14-for-48. Their .292 AVG is tops among all 30 teams (2nd: OAK-.283). While pinch-hitting, the Jays also rank 1st in OBP (.382), 2nd in OPS (.757) and T-7th in SLG (.375).
It’s Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.81) on the mound. Gaviglio yielded two runs — one earned — over 4 1/3 innings against the Yankees on Friday. Gaviglio was handed a nice five-run cushion in the second inning, but he gave up one run in the third and was pulled after walking Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded in the fifth. Joe Biagini took over from there and was able to escape without any further damage. Still, Gaviglio failed to hang around long enough for the victory. The 28-year-old fanned six and walked three in the no-decision and now owns a 3.81 ERA and 51/17 K/BB ratio in 52 innings across nine starts and two relief appearances.
Gaviglio has pitched well at times this season but has had a difficult time pitching deep into games. He has pitched into the fifth inning in just five of his nine starts this season.
Why Bet on Atlanta?
Atlanta ended May with a 33-23 record but is only 17-16 since. Pitching has been a problem, with a team ERA in July of 5.87. On Sunday, Braves OF Ender Inciarte didn’t run out of the batter’s box after hitting a fifth-inning fly ball, and wound up on first base, instead of second, when the ball was dropped. Braves manager Brian Snitker took Inciarte out of the game.
Freddie Freeman is a top NL MVP candidate and was the leading vote-getter in the National League for the 2018 All-Star Game. It’s the third time in Freeman’s career, and the first time since 2014 that he has been named to the National League All-Star squad.
Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies was named an All-Star reserve. As of Tuesday, he has scored 69 runs this season, tops in the NL, and has 17th multi-run games. Albies is looking to become the seventh Braves player in franchise history to reach 70 runs prior to the All-Star break. The franchise record is 76, first set by Tommy Holmes in 1945 and tied by Dale Murphy in 1983. The last to reach 70 by the break was Gary Sheffield (73) and Rafael Furcal (72) in 2003.
So who starts on the mound here? This would have been rookie Max Fried’s turn in the rotation but he was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to blister problems on his pitching hand. Braves manager Brian Snitker said the team is trying to get ahead of the injury by placing Fried on the disabled list now instead of letting the issue linger and potentially get worse. Right-hander Evan Phillips was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to take his place.
The Braves could opt to start Mike Foltynewicz (6-5, 2.37), who will be on regular rest due to Monday’s off day. Foltynewicz took the loss Friday, coughing up five runs on six hits over six innings while striking out seven as the Braves fell 5-4 to the Brewers. The right-hander was done in by a five-run third inning that includes homers by Jesus Aguilar and Tyler Saladino, but otherwise, Foltynewicz pitched well, throwing 75 of 105 pitches for strikes. It’s the first time he’s allowed more than two runs in a start since May 4, and the first time he’s given up multiple home runs since his first start of the year March 30.
Atlanta could also call up someone from the minors to make the start. It’s possible but unlikely that Luiz Gohara could be an option but he threw 28 pitches and two scoreless innings in Sunday’s loss to Milwaukee. So even if Gohara started, he wouldn’t go very long.
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 2 of a series
- Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
- Toronto is 1-6 in its last 7 Wednesday games
- Braves are 7-2 in Foltynewicz’s last 9 home starts vs. a team with a losing record
- Braves are 6-2 in Foltynewicz’s last 8 interleague starts
- Atlanta is 5-2 in Foltynewicz’s last 7 starts
Expert MLB Betting Prediction for Blue Jays vs Braves
If it’s Foltynewicz, as seems most likely, go with Atlanta.