MLB Baseball - L.A. Dodgers at Toronto Blue Jays (-135, 9) 7:00 PM EST
In this interleague series, both the Dodgers and Blue Jays have registered a major blowout with their ace pitcher on the mound, so tonight comes the rubber match of the 3-game set.
Los Angeles is in the midst of a long 10-game road trip that has them truly on the move when traveling. After playing north of the border, they head south to Tampa Bay before flying west to face division rival Arizona.
Interleague play has been unkind to the Dodgers once again as they are 3-8 (-5.7 units), scoring a mere 2.7 runs per game. Toronto is third in the American League East trying to catch the Yankees and must do a better job at home.
The Blue Jays 21-17 record doesn’t look all that bad, yet they are just 10th in the AL in runs scored at home this season. With two young pitchers starting, anything is possible. Nevertheless, Toronto likes their chances with 46-23 record against the money line at home after five or more consecutive home games over the last three seasons.
Why Dodgers win
The Dodgers bring back 22-year Chad Billingsley to the starting rotation to take the place of Jason Schmidt who is expected to miss the rest of the season. Billingsley was and probably still is the club’s top prospect but his high pitch counts and inability to find the strike zone consistently has had him in the bullpen all season.
This will be his first start of the season after a 6-4 record with a 3.34 ERA last year in 16 starts. Other then the interleague issue, Los Angeles has beaten up on teams like Toronto with regularity, posting a 41-15 mark when playing against a marginal losing team (Win Pct. 46% to 49%) over the last two seasons.
After scoring a large number of runs the Blue Jays are often grounded with 9-21 record against the ML after scoring 10 runs or more over the last few seasons.
Why Blue Jays win
Like Billingsley, Shaun Marcum started the season in the bullpen with mixed results. Since entering the rotation on May 13 against Tampa Bay, he's been on fire. The 25-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA in seven starts this season with the Blue Jays 6-1.
Toronto is nicely positioned to take advantage of Los Angeles who is plain sordid in interleague play with 13-31 record the last three years. Toronto has a quality bullpen and L.A. has shown little ability to come from behind with 11-27 mark in road games vs. a good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.350 or better.
The Blue Jays record is not all that special, yet they have not gone on a number of prolonged slumps due the fact of 17-3 mark against the ML after having lost two of their last three games this season.
Toronto is a -135 favorite with a total of 9 at sportsbook.com
Top Totals Trends – Los Angeles is 8-3-1 UNDER as a road underdog in 2007. Toronto is 12-1 UNDER at home with a money line of -100 to -150 this season.
Pitcher Chad Billingsley has great stuff and the ability to really shutdown an opposing club, the problem is consistency going through the line-up more then once.
With the Dodgers woes against the American League and 2-12 record in road games vs. AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs a game, difficult to make a strong case for them as a play.
Shaun Marcum has a 3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio and averages better then one punch-out per inning (61 K’s vs 58 IP.) He has good assortment of pitches and reports show he studies hard to determine hitters’ weakness.
The Blue Birds are 18-5 against the ML after two straight games where they stranded five or less runners on base. Toronto is the play to take the series.
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