The recent run of offensive explosions continued again yesterday as several teams posted double-digit runs on the board. The Miami Marlins picked up a huge statement win against the Washington Nationals, as they pounded the Nats for fourteen runs. Miami was led by Brian Anderson, who smashed three homers and drove in seven RBI. It was a big win for Miami as they remain just a half a game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies for second place in the NL East Division.
The Los Angeles Dodgers took advantage of the rarified air of Coors Field in Colorado as they posted a fifteen spot on the Rockies. Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, and Cody Bellinger all had three RBI in the win for LA. With the win, the Dodgers kept their four-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the NL West Division.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 19, 2020
It was a tough night for the Mets in the Big Apple, as the Atlanta Braves blew the Mets out 15-2, and may have ended the Mets dreams of a postseason birth along the way. The Braves swatted six homers on the night, including two from Ozzie Albies. Atlanta has a three and a half-game lead over the second-place Miami Marlins in the race for the NL East title.
The Philadelphia Phillies scored fifteen runs yesterday as well, although they needed two games against the Toronto Blue Jays to do it. The Phillies swept the doubleheader yesterday, winning game one 7-0, and finished off the sweep in game two with an 8-7 victory. The two wins were enough to move the Phillies to the top of the NL wild-card race. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will stay right here in Philadelphia, as the Phillies look to make it three straight wins over Toronto today in game three.
Toronto Blue Jays (26-25) at Philadelphia Phillies (26-25)
The Philadelphia Phillies are looking for the series win today at home, in game three of a four-game series with the slumping Blue Jays. The Phillies managed to climb back over the .500 mark on the season, yesterday, by sweeping both ends of the scheduled doubleheader. Philly now finds themselves a half of a game ahead of the Reds, Cardinals, and Giants in a crowded NL wild-card race.
For Toronto, the Blue Jays have gone from red-hot to ice-cold in the last three weeks of play. The Blue Jays had won eight out of twelve games to position themselves well in the American League playoff picture, but have now lost five straight and are at risk of missing the postseason if they can’t turn around this nasty slump quickly.
Starting today for the Blue Jays is their ace, Hyun-jin Ryu (4-1 3.00 ERA), and for the Phillies, it is Vince Velasquez (0-1 6.46 ERA). The game total over/under is set at eight and a half runs. The Blue Jays are -135 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM PST from Citizen’s Bank Ballpark.
Toronto Blue Jays
Man, do things change quickly in Major League Baseball. A week ago, it looked like the Toronto Blue Jays were going to finish in the top two in the American League East and hit the playoffs playing their best baseball of the season. Toronto beat the New York Yankees in two out of three games last week, and that seemed to solidify the Jays as a legit threat in the AL.
But then Toronto made a trip to Yankee Stadium and got shellacked in three games against the Bronx Bombers. In that series, the Yankees scored an absolutely absurd 43 runs in the three games. The Blue Jays left New York knowing that the Yankees were finally healthy and a force to be reckoned with.
The struggles on the mound continued in their last series, as they gave up fifteen total runs yesterday in two games with the Phillies. In the Blue Jays last eight games, they have given up an average of over ten runs a game. Yikes.
Hyun-jin Ryu (4-1 3.00 ERA)
Today’s game is exactly why the Blue Jays brought in Hyun-jin Ryu in the offseason. The Blue Jays knew that they needed an elite starting pitcher than can go out and win them a game when they need it. Today, the Blue Jays badly need Ryu to step up and put this team on his back, as they are really struggling to get guys out right now.
When you look at how Ryu has pitched this season, it is hard not to expect him to be good tonight. In his last eight starts, he has been very good in seven of them. He got roughed up by the Yankees a couple of starts back, but who isn’t getting lit up by New York right now? In his other seven starts, he has pitched a combined forty innings and has allowed just five earned runs. Since August 1st, Ryu has an ERA of just 1.13 against all teams not named, the New York Yankees.
This Phillies team just can’t seem to make up its mind right now. Are they good? Are they bad? Will they make the playoffs? If they do, can they win a series? The Phillies have as much talent as any team in the National League, with the exception of maybe the Dodgers, but they just can’t seem to stay consistent.
The Phillies played a seven-game series with the Miami Marlins last week and had a chance to lock up a playoff spot. Instead, they lost five out of those seven games and are now fighting for the wild card instead of the division title. They followed up the disappointing series against the Marlins, by losing two out of three to the Mets. If it weren’t for yesterday’s doubleheader sweep, the Phillies season might already be over.
Vince Velasquez (0-1 6.46 ERA)
The Philadelphia Phillies have a lot of talent in their starting rotation. Guys like Zach Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Jake Arietta give the Phillies a rotation that can match up with anybody. And while the top of the rotation is very good, you can’t say the same thing about their number five starter, Vince Velasquez. Velasquez has never really been all that great in his time with the Phillies as his lifetime ERA is nearly five runs in five season with Philadelphia.
But this year, he has been particularly bad, and it is really hurting his team. Velasquez holds the dubious distinction of having not won a single one of his seven starts this season. Not only does he not have a winning decision on the year, the Phillies have lost every time he has pitched. All but one of the Phillies seven losses when Velasquez has pitched have come by multiple runs, and their run differential with Velasquez on the mound is -25.
Who Do I Like?
The Phillies dominated yesterday at the plate and managed to take both sides of the doubleheader by hammering the baseball. But those runs came against newly acquired starters, Ross Stripling and Robbie Ray, two guys that have really struggled since being traded to Toronto. I would expect Hyun-jin Ryu to be much better than both Ray and Stripling, today in this one.
Philly had really been hitting poorly before yesterday’s outburst, and I feel like those games were a bit fluky, and they are going to look a lot more like the team that had scored more than four runs in a game just twice in their previous eight games.
The Blue Jays opened this game as -155 road favorites. However, the public has backed the Phillies in a major way, as they have moved this number twenty points towards Philly. I mean, I can see why the public likes Philly in this game. They looked great at the dish yesterday, and the Blue Jays are playing bad right now. But Hyun-jin Ryu is not Robbie Ray or Ross Stripling, and I expect him to pitch well and shut the Phillies down.
Unlike Philly, who has yet to win a single game when Vince Velasquez has started this season, the Blue Jays rarely ever lose with Ryu on the mound. Toronto is 8-2 in Ryu’s ten starts this season, and I would expect that strong trend to continue for both pitchers today.
The Phillies bullpen has been an abomination this season, and really bad in September. Despite making several moves to bolster their pen, the Phillies relievers just aren’t getting the job done right now. When you look at Velasquez, he has yet to pitch more than five innings in any outing this year, and in five of his seven appearances, he has pitched four innings or fewer.
That means we are going to see a heavy dose of this Phillies bullpen, and that is a good thing for our bet. So, I will do what I love to do, and that is fade the public and back the Blue Jays. Expect Ryu to be great, Velasquez to be awful, and the Blue Jays to win this one going away!