The Toronto Blue Jays are out west for the next six days, as they play a three-game series in Los Angeles and Seattle. When they head home next week, they have the Braves and Astros to deal with. That’s okay, though, because the Jays aren’t exactly searching for meaningful wins at this point.
However, playing good teams can help develop the younger guys on this roster, which is all this season is about. Having to compete against contenders will help later on in the development process. The Mariners don’t count, but the Dodgers, Braves, and Astros are all major contenders.
Tonight will certainly be a solid measuring stick for the Blue Jays’ hitters and Sean Reid-Foley. The Dodgers possess a quick strike offense who might give Reid-Foley a tough night at the office. In any event, Reid-Foley has been pitching well in the limited opportunities he’s received in 2019. This will be only his seventh start of the year.
Allowing Reid-Foley to get experience, rather than turning to Edwin Jackson who is nothing more than a rotation filler, was the much wiser move by the Blue Jays. He’s started against the Yankees once already and handled them terrifically. Getting a similar outing against the Dodgers would be another bright spot for his season.
He is up against one of the best pitchers in the major leagues from the last decade, so he is going to need it to give the Jays a chance. Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make his 22nd start of the year tonight. He hasn’t missed a beat in 2019, but the Dodgers really need him to get hot when it matters most in October. Head below for our free Blue Jays vs. Dodgers pick.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. L.A. Dodgers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
For all of the criticism that the Blue Jays’ front office have gotten, they appear to be on a good timeline for the future. As long as their young talent develops properly, the Blue Jays are likely going to be a contender again in the AL East. Bo Bichette and Vlad. Jr are going to combine to do a lot of damage, which they’ve already started to do together as rookies. Reid-Foley hopes to make an impact in the future as well.
Early on in his career, he’s been on the right course and doing well in Toronto. Reid-Foley enters Dodger Stadium with an ERA of 3.00 and 1.57 WHIP. In his last three outings, he’s posted a 3.65 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. So, yeah, he is going to have to work on keeping runners off the bases.
He hasn’t been able to avoid walks at all and it’s eventually going to catch up to him. Note that he has yielded 13 walks in just his last four games. You can get away with it for a little while, but it’s not sustainable. Eventually long balls are going to get hit and runs add up quickly when that happens with plenty of runners on base. The Dodgers are 3rd in the majors with 1.72 home runs hit per game. Further, their OBP is 4th with a .341, so for a guy who has had issues with avoiding walks, this game could be interesting for him.
The Blue Jays haven’t seen much of Kershaw playing in the American League, but they have struggled when getting the chance. They’re hitting just .172 in 29 at-bats. Kershaw may not have to worry about Vlad Jr. in this contest after he suffered a knee injury against the Mariners. His status is not clear. Kershaw has been on fire with a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in his last three outings.
He’s also been at his best at home, where he has posted a 2.26 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Note that Kershaw is a perfect 8-0 at home. I don’t expect the Jays to be able to get to Kershaw in this matchup. Reid-Foley might keep the Jays in this one for a little while, but look for the Dodgers to open things up and pull away.