Atlanta Braves vs. Toronto Blue Jays (6/19/18)
Time: 7:07 PM ET
Venue: Rogers Centre
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TV: MASN, MASN2 & FOX Sports South
Moneyline: Atlanta (-110) / Toronto (-110)
By handicapper Bryan B
After a day of rest for both teams, the Atlanta Braves travel north of the border Tuesday night to do battle with the Toronto Blue Jays. Atlanta comes in winners in five of their last six ballgames, while the Blue Jays have won seven consecutive decisions on the astroturf in Rogers Centre. Currently, the Braves are on a two-game win streak after winning back-to-back matches in Atlanta versus the Padres over the weekend. Toronto may have had their best weekend of the year, taking three-straight from the National League East’s second place Washington Nationals. Consequently, the Braves are atop the National League East Standings with a three-game edge over the Nats.
Braves are chopping them down
Atlanta enters Tuesday’s showdown with the Blue Jays coming off a six-game homestand, which resulted in five victories for the Baby Braves. Winners in back-to-back contests versus the San Diego Padres, Atlanta’s pitching has been on point. Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70 ERA & 1.18 WHIP) tossed six innings with no runs allowed while recording seven strikeouts with only one free pass in a 1-0 victory on Saturday. Then, Julio Teheran (5-4, 3.97 ERA & 1.21 WHIP) turned in a majestic performance on Father’s Day, tossing six innings of no-hit baseball before departing due to a cramp in his right hamstring. The Braves went on to win the game 4-1, with Teheran notching his fifth win for the year.
At 42-29 (.592), Atlanta holds a three-game advantage over the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East Standings. On the road, the Braves are 21-16 (.568) overall and 9-4 (.692) in their last 13 against left-handed starting pitchers. Averaging 4.85 runs per game, the Braves boast the fifth most potent offense in the League. Atlanta’s +67 run differential’s second best in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs. Nick Markakis (92) and Freddie Freeman (91) are one-two in the National League leaders for hits thus far.
Blue Jays flying high
Toronto’s won seven of their last ten games, including three consecutive wins over the Washington Nationals over the weekend. The Blue Birds are on a tear at home lately, winners in seven straight decisions at the Rogers Centre. In that stretch, Toronto has outscored opponents 43-22. A recent revelation for the Blue Jays has been right fielder Randal Grichuk. Since returning from the disabled list on June 1st, he’s averaging .326 with five home runs and 13 RBI. In Toronto’s most recent outing, Grichuk went 2-3 with two dingers and four RBI in an 8-6 triumph over Washington. Overall, the Blue Jays record is 33-38 (.465). Despite the recent run of success, their home record sits at .500 (19-19) on the year. Toronto boasts a -22 run differential, and they’re 14-20 (.418) versus teams with a winning record.
Soroka vs. Garcia
Taking the mound for the Braves will be Michael Soroka (2-1, 2.57 ERA & 1.29 WHIP). On June 13th, the rookie right-hander made his first start in a month after being on the DL with shoulder inflammation. The 20-year-old from Calgary, Alberta threw a gem in a 2-0 home-victory over the struggling New York Mets. Soroka threw 74 pitches over 6.1 Innings, allowing just one hit to go along with four strikeouts and one walk. Atlanta’s first-round pick from 2015, 28th overall, has shown signs of brilliance in his young career thus far. This outing will be his first start in his native Canada.
Starting for the Blue Jays will be veteran lefty Jaime Garcia (2-5, 5.71 ERA & 1.56 WHIP). Garcia’s 0-4 in his last nine starts. In his three most recent outings, Garcia’s ERA is 7.23 with a 1.96 WHIP. His previous win came on April 17th versus the Kansas City Royals. Historically, the Braves lineup has had success against Garcia as they’re hitting .302 with a .362 on-base percentage.
With the opening line for this one, the oddsmakers believe this is a toss-up. Betting on Atlanta (-110) has a 52.4% chance to yield a victory according to the line. In my opinion, the Braves win this particular game 67% of the time. Atlanta is 5-1 in their last six meetings in Toronto and has won 16 of their last 23 overall versus the Blue Jays. The Braves aren’t deterred by astroturf as they’ve won four straight contests on the surface. Toronto’s 1-4 in Jaime Garcia’s last five starts and the veteran left-hander has been consistently subpar all season. Atlanta with Soroka on the hill has a significant advantage over the Jays. With a 14.6% edge on the money line, bet Atlanta. To get the best line on this game check out Intertops who offer new bettors a free $100 if you deposit $100!