Toronto Blue Jays (-245) at Atlanta Braves (+225, 7 o/u)
After taking the first three of their four-game set against the NY Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays (82-62, 35-37 Away) have dropped their last two and seen their lead cut to just three games in the AL East. However, Toronto has the benefit of a great pitching matchup tonight as David Price (15-5, 2.46 ERA) takes on hard-luck Shelby Miller (5-14, 2.86 ERA) and the Atlanta Braves (57-88, 34-36 Home) at Turner Field (7:10 PM Eastern).
The Jays got caught in a trap game last night, dropping the opener of the series 3-2 after Andrelton Simmons hit a walk off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.
“The story was we didn’t score,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons, whose team leads the MLB with 203 home runs and a 5.5 runs-per-game average. “Bottom line is we win when we score.”
For Atlanta, it was only their third win in their last 20 games. They are 26 games below the New York Mets in the NL East standings, and are resigned to playing out this disappointing season.
“We’ve been struggling to get wins lately,” Braves shortstop Simmons said to the Associated Press after last night’s game. “We’ve been playing better, but getting the win is pretty big.”
Price will be looking for his fifth win in the last six games and third in a row. His last start was a six-hit, two-run effort in an 11-5 win over the Yankees. The Jays opened up a big lead early and Price was pulled after just five innings; with the game in hand, Gibbons elected to keep his ace’s pitch count down.
Atlanta will counter with righty Shelby Miller. Miller has lost 13 straight decisions, but has gotten just 1.47 runs of support over that stretch. In his last outing, Miller was handed another loss against the Mets (7-2) going six innings and giving up seven hits and three earned runs.
Facing Price, Miller shouldn’t expect much run support again tonight, so he’ll need to tame the best lineup in baseball. The Jays will be without Troy Tulowitzki and Edwin Encarnacion again, but it’s still hard to like Miller’s chances.
Pick: Toronto (-245).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)