We are starting to heat up again as we had a good weekend and a great start to the week yesterday, with multiple winners. One game that was a particularly sweet spot was when we got to back the Miami Marlins as underdogs against the struggling Washington Nationals. I felt that the Marlins were just playing better baseball at this point of the season, and that getting dog money on them against a Washington team that is a shell of its former self, as they have been decimated by injuries and opt-outs, was a high-value play.
Pablo Lopez, for Miami, had been pitching really well this season, and Washington starter Austin Voth had been really bad in his last two starts. I fired hard on Miami and expected them to touch up Voth, and for Pablo Lopez to do more than enough to secure the Miami victory.
Five-game series. –> Ours. ?
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) August 25, 2020
And that is exactly what happened. Voth didn’t make it out of the fourth inning before getting smashed for six earned runs, and the Marlins jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. Lopez didn’t have his best stuff, as he did allow six hits in five innings, but he didn’t allow an earned run and picked up his third win of the season.
I mentioned in my pick yesterday that a guy to keep an eye on for Miami, was Miguel Rojas, as he had been hitting the ball hard this year in limited action. And all he did was get on base four times, score two runs, and drive in another. This Miami team is only going to get better as they continue to get all of their best players back healthy, and at this point, they seem destined for a trip to the postseason. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will take a look at another team trying to stay in the playoff conversation, as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Boston Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox (9-20) at Toronto Blue Jays (14-13)
The Toronto Blue Jays host the Boston Red Sox tonight in game one of a three-game set, hoping they can keep up their recent hot streak. The Blue Jays have won seven out of their last nine games after sweeping both the Orioles and the Phillies, and then splitting a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The recent surge has seen the Blue Jays go from playoff longshot to legit contender in the American League.
For Boston, the Red Sox started to show some signs of life last week when they won a season-high three straight games. But that success was short-lived, as they lost the final two games of their last series with the Baltimore Orioles, and enter play today in last place in the American League East Division, and have the second worst record in the AL, with only the Los Angeles Angels having a lower winning percentage.
Starting for the Blue Jays tonight is Chase Anderson (0-0 2.79 ERA), and for the Red Sox, it is Kyle Hart (0-1 11.12 ERA). The game total over/under is set at eleven and a half runs. The Blue Jays are -125 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 3:37 PM PST from Sahlen Field in Buffalo.
Boston Red Sox
We knew coming into this season that starting pitching wouldn’t be a strong point for the Boston Red Sox. But it has been even worse than I think most of us thought, as this team just flat out can’t pitch. The Red Sox have already used a whopping eleven starting pitchers, and outside of Martin Perez, who has been respectable despite a losing record, this staff has been really bad.
Zack Godley has been god-awful, with a 7.27 ERA in five starts. Nathan Eovaldi, the impromptu “ace” of this staff and their Opening Day starter, has already allowed seven home runs in only six starts and has an ERA of nearly five runs. The rest of the guys, players like Ryan Weber, Colten Brewster, Josh Osich, Chris Mazza, Matt Hall, Austin Brice, Ryan Braiser, and tonight’s starter Kyle Hart, have been anywhere from terrible to mediocre, with none of them having any level of measurable success on the mound.
Kyle Hart (0-1 11.12 ERA)
Kyle Hart is the type of guy you start when you don’t really care all that much about winning baseball games. Hart was a 19th round draft pick in 2016 and had some limited success in the Minor Leagues before getting called up to the show for the first time this year. While Hart cruised through single-A and A+ ball, each time he has stepped up a level, his results have dipped. Last year at triple-A, he went 9-7 with a 3.86 ERA. While those aren’t terrible numbers, he wasn’t exactly forcing the Red Sox to call him up.
Hart was welcomed to the big leagues by the Tampa Bay Rays on August 13th and got hammered for seven runs in just two innings worked. In his next start, things went slightly better, as he only gave up two runs in 3.2 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. One of the major issues that is holding Hart back from having success has been walks, as he has already walked seven batters in only 5.2 innings worked.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays finally got a home earlier this month, as they have set up shop in Buffalo, New York, at the home of their triple-A affiliate squad. And while they have still played several of their games on the road since playing their first “home” game of the season on August 11th, the home cooking seems to be working for Toronto.
The Blue Jays are 9-5 since then and are all of the sudden right back in the playoff picture in the American League. In fact, if the season were to end today, the Blue Jays would actually qualify for the postseason as the final wild-card spot in the league. But it is a tight race as the Baltimore Orioles are just a half of a game back, and the Tigers, Royals, Rangers, and Mariners are all well within striking distance.
Chase Anderson (0-0 2.79 ERA)
The Blue Jays have been very careful with how they are using Chase Anderson this season. Despite pitching well in each of his three starts, they have not let him get deep into games. But he has seen his pitch count increase each time out, and I would expect that if he is pitching well again tonight that Toronto will look to get a little more out of him.
The Jays brought Anderson in during the offseason to be a veteran, middle of the rotation starter, that they could count on to help them win games, and so far, he has done just that, as Toronto is 2-1 in his three starts this season. Expect Toronto to lean on Anderson more and more as the season wears on.
Who Do I Like?
Another day, another fade of the Boston Red Sox. No matter how many games this team loses, they always seem to be competitively priced in the betting market. I guess this is just a bunch of guys with Boston accents and Red Sox hats that keep firing hard on the BoSox each day to keep these numbers tight? If not them, who else keeps falling in love with this Red Sox team that has had one of the worst records in the American League all season long?
I am not saying that I have an overwhelming amount of confidence in the Blue Jays, they are flawed and banged up, but getting the opportunity to fade Boston at this price, seems like a bargain. Kyle Hart has yet to show me that he can be a Major League level pitcher, and it is hard to expect anything better than what we have seen out of him in his two starts this season against a Blue Jays team that is finally starting to hit the baseball.
And for Chase Anderson, he threw 45 pitches in his first start, 59 pitches in his second start, and 78 pitches in his last start. You would think that he gets to 90-100 pitches today, and if his 2.79 ERA holds up, he will do more than enough to pick up the win in this one.
If the books keep pricing Boston like they are a quality team, I will keep looking for ways to get on the other side and fade them. So far, the fact that Boston has been awful, hasn’t really hurt them in the betting market, and I am fading them nearly every day and getting rich. And that is what I will do in this one as well. Give me the Toronto Blue Jays as they stay hot tonight in their home away from home, laying -125!