Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#975 San Diego Padres -120 vs.
#976 Toronto Blue Jays 9
Friday, May 24, 2019 at 7:07pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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San Diego Padres at Toronto Blue Jays

When and Where: Friday, May 24, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 7:07 p.m. EDT.

Looking to carry their recent strong starting pitching to the road, Joey Lucchesi looks to keep the San Diego Padres rolling Friday night when they open a six-game interleague road swing with the first of three games versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lucchesi looks to snap four-start winless run

Lucchesi (3-3, 4.28) had one of his better outings of the season last time out but had nothing to show for it being on the wrong end of a pitchers’ duel.

The left-hander made one mistake against Pittsburgh last Friday, serving up a two-run homer to Brian Reynolds in the fourth inning — and it proved costly in San Diego’s 2-1 defeat. Lucchesi did pitch a season high-tying seven innings and allowed just five hits.

“His last couple of have been good,” Padres manager Andy Green told The Morning Call. “I think we feel really good about where he’s at. He attacked well. The home run was a good swing, but most of the day he was ahead. That’s going to make him successful.”

Lucchesi had mixed results in interleague play as a rookie last year, going 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts. The southpaw did win the last two, though, sweeping Seattle in a 13-day span.

The Padres (26-24) are kicking off a six-game road swing versus AL East teams that also includes three against the New York Yankees. They were off Thursday after sweeping a three-game series versus Arizona in which its starters conceded just four runs in 19 innings.

Eric Hosmer, who had back-to-back 2-RBI games, is 11 for 30 (.367) in his last nine games. Manny Machado, who played his first six-plus seasons with Baltimore before being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, is a .276 lifetime hitter versus Toronto but only a .241 hitter in 49 games at Rogers Centre

Thornton finding groove but not getting runs

Blue Jays rookie Trent Thornton (1-4, 4.41) has held opposing hitters to a .180 batting average in his last five starts while allowing two or fewer runs in four of them, but he has just one win in that span as the Blue Jays have scored one or no runs in four of them.

The right-hander did not get a decision Sunday on the road against the White Sox despite limiting them to one run in six innings before Toronto recorded a 5-2 victory.

“The last three outings he’s been very good,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said of Thornton to the Toronto Sun. “He gives us a chance.”

The Blue Jays youth movement is expected to add another piece Friday with the team ready to call up 24-year-old infielder Cavan Biggio. The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, Cavan is hitting .306 at Triple-A Buffalo with six homers and 26 RBIs in 41 games.

Biggio is the second son of a major leaguer to be on the Blue Jays, joining Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The 20-year-old has shaken off a slow start and hitting .333 with five homers in his last 11 games.

Toronto (20-30) dropped back-to-back games and three of four overall to Boston, capped with an 8-2 loss Thursday that was its eighth loss in 10 home games.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Lucchesi appears to be coming on in recent starts, and following the sweep by his rotation counterparts, the Padres look to be in good spirits heading east. This will likely be a tight affair with Thornton also pitching well of late, but the hedge is the Padres pulling this one out.

Prediction: Padres (-125)

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both pitchers have struggled at times to get their offenses to back them — Lucchesi has gotten three runs or less in six of his nine starts while Thornton has a stronger case for non-support with the Jays scoring more than two runs just once in his 10 starts.

With both pitchers on song, this has a good chance of being a low-scoring contest.

Prediction: UNDER 8.5 runs (-110)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The Padres left-hander is averaging just below one strikeout per inning with 46 in 48 1-3 innings, and the Blue Jays enter this contest fourth in the AL with 460 strikeouts and a rate of 9.2 per game. With Lucchesi looking solid in his last two starts, the over is worth a play here.

Prediction: Lucchesi OVER 5.5 strikeouts (-108)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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This matchup gets filed under the “something has to give” department. The Padres have yet to lead after five innings in a series opener on the road, trailing on six of the seven occasions. Toronto, meanwhile, has led after five innings just once in Thornton’s 10 starts while being tied on four occasions.

With the expectation of a low-scoring contest, plus the Padres not leading after five innings in their previous nine games before Wednesday’s series finale versus Arizona, grabbing the Blue Jays and the half-run feels like the play.

Prediction: Blue Jays +0.5 runs (-140)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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The five-inning under is 2-0-1 in Lucchesi’s last three starts, and it also had delivered in seven of San Diego’s 10 games prior to the five-spot the Padres put up versus Arizona on Wednesday. Thornton is the wild-card in this pick, but the expectation is he holds out through at least the first five innings to match Lucchesi and keep this close.

Prediction: UNDER 4.5 runs (-121)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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(Writers note: Propbets.com uses different terminology, this is similar to the YES/NO first-inning run pick).

This is a confidence pick in Thornton with the expectation Lucchesi will continue his first-inning dominance and not give up a run for the 10th time in as many starts. Thornton has yielded only one opening-frame run in his last six outings and four in 10 overall, making the under a solid play.

Prediction: 1st inning UNDER 0.5 runs (-115)
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Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he 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. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.