Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#921 Toronto Blue Jays 8.5 vs.
#922 San Francisco Giants -145
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 3:45pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Toronto Blue Jays at San Francisco Giants

When and Where: Wednesday, May 15, Oracle Park, San Francisco, Calif., 3:45 p.m. EDT.

The future is now for the San Francisco Giants, who will turn to top pitching prospect Shaun Anderson for his major league debut Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays are hoping for a blast from the past as journeyman Edwin Jackson will set a major league record by pitching for his 14th team as this two-game interleague series concludes.

Well-traveled Jackson set for Blue Jays debut

Jackson (6-3, 3.33 ERA in 2018) was technically a Blue Jays player for a few fleeting moments in 2011 when he was part of a three-team, 11-player deal that sent him from the Chicago White Sox to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The veteran right-hander played for seven different teams since that deal, including two stints with the Washington Nationals. Oakland picked him up last year, and he was an effective contributor during the stretch run.

“Hopefully he’s going to give us a spark,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We need an arm like that and he’s been around. I’ve seen him for a long time now so I’m hoping he helps us out.”

Jackson declared for free agency after the end of last season. He failed to latch on anywhere in the offseason and re-upped with the Athletics on a minor league deal last month before being acquired for cash considerations to help bail out a Blue Jays rotation minus injured starters Clay Buchholz, Ryan Borucki, Matt Shoemaker, and Clayton Richard.

The 14 teams Jackson will have pitched for when he throws his first offering Wednesday will better the mark previously held by Octavio Dotel. The 35-year-old was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in three minor league starts, including two at the Triple-A level.

Jackson lost both his starts to San Francisco last year as part of the Bay Bridge Series, giving up five runs and eight hits in 12 1-3 innings over a seven-day span. He is 11-11 with a 3.86 ERA in 33 interleague starts but has lost five of the last seven.

The righty is 5-6 with a 4.30 ERA in 13 career starts against the Giants, including a 1-3 mark with a 2.61 ERA in five at Oracle Park. Jackson has not allowed more than three runs in any of those outings but also has gotten only three runs of support.

Pablo Sandoval has always been happy to see Jackson regardless of what team he pitches for, going 10 for 23 with two homers in their matchups. Joe Panik is 3 for 7 with a homer, but Brandon Belt is hitless in 12 at-bats.

Buster Posey has not fared much better than Belt, going 3 for 23.

Highly touted Anderson looks to shake up Giants rotation

Anderson (NR) pitched with the Giants in spring training before being sent to Triple-A Sacramento, where he went 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA in 35 innings with 37 strikeouts.

This is technically the second time the 24-year-old Anderson has been with the Giants, who had planned to start him for a game against the New York Mets last August and flew him cross-country before opting against it.

“I flew over there and then it just happened to be where things didn’t work out and they needed me back in Sacramento,” Anderson said this spring to the San Jose Mercury News. “I respected that, went back to Sacramento and that was pretty much it. It was close but things happen for a reason.”

Anderson is considered the top pitcher in the club’s farm system and its fourth-best prospect overall. His fastball touches the mid-90s consistently, and he is capable of throwing four pitches for strikes.

“There’s nobody that outworks him,” first-year farm director Kyle Haines said during spring training to the . “His mental game is off the charts, and then when you combine it with his talent, four good pitches, he throws strikes, plus-demeanor and competitor on the mound, it is really easy to fall in love with him and get excited about him.”

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This is admittedly a difficult game to figure out with two guys making their debuts — Jackson for the season and Anderson for his major league career — but the pick is the Giants between Jackson’s struggles last year against them and also just a hunch Anderson does enough to keep Toronto at bay.

It is still difficult to put much confidence in the Blue Jays to deliver offensively in back-to-back games — they have not scored five or more runs in consecutive contests in their last eight road games and last 13 overall.

There will be some pressure on Anderson to produce after the Giants used an opener and five relievers Monday night, but he has pitched at least five innings in each of his last five starts for the River Cats while yielding three runs or fewer.

Prediction: Giants -144

Full-Game Total Pick

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This line, on the surface, feels stunning low considering the circumstances of both pitchers making their debuts and especially after the over delivered fairly easily Monday night.

The challenge for both pitchers is going to get through at least five and potentially six innings before turning it over to the bullpen, but there is little evidence this game will be a pitchers’ duel.

The over improved to 9-1 in San Francisco’s last 10 games and 5-1-1 in its last seven games versus AL teams. The over also climbed to 22-7 in its last 29 for the Blue Jays on the road against the senior circuit.

Prediction: OVER 7.5 runs (-105)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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This is a hedge that both Jackson and Anderson are going to be wild in the strike zone, which will lead to hits and runs. Anderson had a 1.29 WHIP with Triple-A Sacramento and nearly gave up a hit per inning.

Jackson is slightly more difficult to decipher. He had a 1.22 WHIP in 17 starts with the A’s last year, which may be an outlier considering his career mark is 1.45. The Giants hit .186 in the two games against him last year, but four of the eight hits went for extra bases in scoring those eight runs.

The teams barely cleared the number Monday night at 26, and with the feel of it being a toss-up, the lean is on the offensive side having already taken the over.

Prediction: OVER 25.5 runs+hits+errors (-130)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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This may be a case of going to the well once too often given the Blue Jays won Monday night’s contest, but the Giants still appear to be the team with the better chance to lead after five innings.

And that is despite leading just once at the midway point in its last 10 games (1-8-1). That is because Toronto is only marginally better with a 2-9-3 mark in its last 14. Additionally, the Blue Jays have not led after five innings in consecutive games since April 26-27.

This is another toss-up pick, and there is more willingness to ride with the rookie than Jackson given his performances versus San Francisco last year.

Prediction: Giants -0.5 runs (-105)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Sticking with the belief the pitchers will be wild in the strike zone for this contest, which will allow teams to either scratch out runs or send pitches over the fence. Also, Sandoval’s track record against Johnson coupled with him entering this contest with homers in back-to-back games offers confidence he will help the cause in getting the over to hit.

Prediction: OVER 4 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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This pick delivered Monday night as the first-inning scoring margin for the Giants increased to minus-40 on the season (45-5). There is the temptation to take the “yes” for a first-inning run at even money with Anderson making his major league debut, but the conservative play of the Blue Jays scoring first feels like the better play with Jackson owning a solid 1.59 first-inning ERA to give Toronto a second bite at the apple for scoring first.

Prediction: Blue Jays to score first (-135)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.