MLB Picks Today – May 16, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays vs Atlanta Braves
The Toronto Blue Jays (17-22) look to right the ship after losing at home to the Braves (14-21) on Monday night. The 10-6 loss snapped the Jays’ season high 5 game winning streak, but they look for revenge on Tuesday. Despite playing better, going an AL East best 7-3 in their last 10, they are still sitting below Tampa Bay, for last place in the division.
The Atlanta Braves haven’t had the best of starts, but their win yesterday is something for them to build on. Veterans Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis stole the show. Kemp, now batting .346, went 4 for 4, almost tying his career high.
Nick Markakis and rookie Dansby Swanson also contributed, the latter extending his hitting streak to 7 games, after batting a mere .150 in his first 27 games of the year. Pitcher Bartolo Colon, who pitched 5 innings, also performed well to earn a win.
For the Blue Jays, other than Monday’s loss, things have been looking up. They are 9-5 in May up till now, after starting the season 8-17. Kevin Pillar continued to produce, extending his hitting streak to 5 games, and batting an astounding .421 in that span, with 7 runs.
Things may continue looking up too, as the Blue Jays’ injured talent might be returning by the weekend. While Steve Pearce was placed on the DL on Monday, Troy Tulowitzski should be returning soon, along with AL MVP candidate Josh Donaldson.TORONTO BLUE JAYS (-155) SportsInteraction
Jaime Garcia (1-2, 4.33 ERA) starts for the Braves. The left hander’s last outing was a loss to the Astros on Wednesday, where he went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs and 6 hits. Prior to that, he had 3 starts in a row allowing 2 or less runs.
The last time Garcia faced Toronto was in 2014, when he was with the Cardinals, where he kept them scoreless in 7 innings at Rogers Centre in a 5-0 win. In his career, he’s faced the Jays 3 times, going 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
Toronto sends Marco Estrada (2-2, 3.12 ERA) to the mound. He’s been gold for his team, only allowing 2 or less earned runs in 5 of his 6 last games. The right hander is holding opposing batters to .227, and is looking for his 3rd win in 4 games. His last time out on Thursday, he got his win over the Mariners, after a rough first inning.
Against the Braves, Estrada’s had more experience, but not recently. In 11 appearances, 5 of which were starts, he’s 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA against Atlanta. Brandon Phillips is 9 for 25 agaisnt him, with 2 home runs.
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The teams have no met recently, but the Braves do have a much better record against Toronto. They are 4-1 in their last 5 at Toronto, and 14-6 in their last 20 overall. The last time the teams met was in 2015 though, so how relevant in this information?
The Braves’ bats are sure to cool down after showing off yesterday, and the Jays should have a shot in this one against a mediocre pitcher in Garcia. Toronto’s 7-1 in their last 8 against a starter with a WHIP over 1.30. The Braves are 8-20 in their last 28 interleague games against a right handed starter.
These teams are going in opposite directions. Atlanta has played well recently, but they will start to decline soon enough, while Toronto will continue to make a run until they leapfrog Tampa Bay for 4th place in the division. At the current price, especially after money started pouring in on them, it would be madness to take the Braves. Estrada at home has been dominant, and this should be no different. Take the Toronto Blue Jays at -155 at Sports Interaction.
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