MLB Picks Today – May 23, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays at Milwaukee Brewers
My Team's Next MatchToronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays (19-26) travel to Milwaukee to face the Brewers (25-19) in a short 2 game interleague series starting Tuesday. The Jays certainly have a ton of work to do to make up ground in their division, as they’re still last place in the AL East.
While they’ve faltered a bit in recent days, they are trending upwards, but they need to play much better if they want to leapfrog the mediocre Rays and Red Sox and become contenders.
Toronto’s won it’s last game on Sunday against Baltimore, validating our pick. All they needed was a 3 run home run from Devon Travis in the 1st inning, and superb pitching to hold the O’s to a single run and take the last game of their 3 game series.
With a 5-5 record in their last 10, and 2-5 record in their last 7, it’s safe to say they need a jolt, because despite their injuries, they are not a last place team.
For the Milwaukee Brewers, things haven’t looked this good in a while. Their offense has been staggering for pitchers, ranking 3rd in the league in OPS, runs scored, and home runs. Keon Broxton has been a large part of that, and was instrumental the last time Milwaukee faced Toronto, and it currently on a 5 game hitting streak. Teammate Travis Shaw is on an 11 game hitting streak of his own, a career high.
Pitching has been the Brewers’ Achilles’ Heel though. They are ranked dead last in the league in walks per 9 innings, 26th in WHIP, and 21st in ERA for their starting rotation. Has that mattered though? Seems not, as they are playing incredibly, winning 10 of their last 13, and vaulted to the top of the NL Central.TORONTO BLUE JAYS (-105) SportsInteraction
Joe Biagini (1-2, 3.41 ERA) starts for the Jays, and continues to increase his pitch count as he becomes accustomed to being a starter.
That being said though, it didn’t take long for his last game to get away from him, as he allowed Atlanta to get 6 runs right away because of walks and throwing errors.
The right hander is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in his 3 starts since coming out of the relief role. In his early meeting with the Brewers this year, he was still a relief pitcher, throwing 1 scoreless inning, with a walk and 2 strikeouts.
Much improved from his first few starts, Jimmy Nelson (2-2, 3.86 ERA) looks to continue his recent dominance. After a 1-2 record with a 5.34 ERA in his first 5 starts, he’s gone 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last 3 starts since. He’s holding batters to a .193 average the last 15.2 innings. His last outing saw him hold the Padres to 2 runs, striking out 8.
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On paper, the Brewers should be the play hands down. Toronto’s 2-6 in their last 8 in Milwaukee, and 4-10 in their last 14 against the Brewers. They haven’t been playing up to par recently either, while Milwaukee has been on absolute fire. Even their starting pitchers are going in opposite directions. So what makes Toronto the play then? The price is too suspicious here to not notice.
The Jays are almost favored in a spot they shouldn’t be. This can alert us that the Brewers’ pitching might not be up to snuff this game. We can’t expect much from Biagini either, but he won’t be as bad as his last game. A couple of longterm trends to note also, is that Milwaukee is 8-21 in Nelson’s last 29 starts, and they are 28-70 in their last 98 games against a starter with a WHIP of 1.15 or less. Both teams should get their hits tonight, but Toronto will eke out the win. Take the Toronto Blue Jays at -105 at Sports Interaction.
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