Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#975 San Diego Padres -135 vs.
#976 Toronto Blue Jays 8
Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 1:07pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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San Diego Padres at Toronto Blue Jays

When and Where: Sunday, May 26, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 1:07 p.m. EDT.

Intrigue is the order of the day Sunday in Toronto, where Marcus Stroman’s uncertain future will get top billing as the Blue Jays try to avoid a sweep and close out their three-game series against one of his potential suitors, the surging San Diego Padres.

Paddack looks to further stellar stretch for Padres

Chris Paddack (4-2, 1.93 ERA) was scheduled to start this game, but he was a late scratch due to a stiff neck. Robbie Erlin (0-0, 3.63) will get the call to make a spot start as it appears San Diego will have a bullpen day in the series finale.

Erlin was a part-time starter in 2018, making 12, but he has been used exclusively out of the bullpen this year. The left-hander has thrown 22 1-3 innings in 15 appearances, striking out 26.

He pitched a hitless inning of relief in Friday’s series opener and has not pitched more than three innings in any appearance this year.

Stroman continues to battle as trade rumors swirl

The Padres and Blue Jays were in active trade talks in December over Stroman (2-6, 2.81), and San Diego is still looking for a front-end, right-handed starter to balance its rotation.

The Padres do have enough depth in their farm system to make a trade happen, but the package of prospects will be the main haggling point on any deal since Stroman can become a free agent after 2020.

Stroman can empathize with Paddack over the lack of run support – Stroman’s 2.53 per start was third-worst in the majors entering play Saturday. But he was the beneficiary of a deluge of runs Tuesday as he held Boston to a solo homer and four other hits in six innings while working around six walks in a 10-3 victory.

And in keeping with his feisty nature, Stroman clapped back at Red Sox manager Alex Cora for his complaints about occasionally quick-pitching Red Sox hitters, tweeting:

“I compete. That’s it. Didn’t know I had to cater to opposing teams to like me. Everyone messes with timing, deliveries and pitching mechanics these days. Everyone. Get over it. I’m going to keep that dawg mentality always. Pops raised me right and approves of it all!”

Stroman split his two interleague starts last year but has a solid track record against the senior circuit, going 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 14 starts. The righty did not get a decision against San Diego in 2016 in his lone matchup with the Padres and is 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA in nine home starts versus National League opposition.

Padres slugger Manny Machado is no stranger to Stroman from his days with the Baltimore Orioles but is just 3 for 19 with a homer and a double in their matchups.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This game is essentially serving as a live audition for Stroman with regards to him possibly joining the Padres, who are seeking their first six-game winning streak since a seven-game run from June 10-17, 2013.

Having Paddack as a late scratch definitely tilts the pick towards Toronto, though there is pressure on Stroman to pitch deep into this game after Saturday’s 19-4 debacle in which catcher Luke Maile mopped up by pitching the ninth.

Prediction: Blue Jays -1.5 (+175)

Full-Game Total Pick

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There is still enough strengh in the trends to believe the under can eke this one out — it is 10-4 in Stroman’s last 14 home starts and 10-4-1 in San Diego’s last 15 in game 3 of a series. The under is also 5-2-1 in the Padres’ last eight interleague matchups with right-handed starters.

Erlin has given up more than one run just once in his last 13 appearances, so the hope is he gives San Diego at least two good innings before giving way to the bullpen to help the under hit.

Prediction: UNDER 8.5 runs (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The sarcastic hope is the Padres are tired after doing a conga line around the bases for their 19 runs Saturday, but the expectation is Stroman is at the very least going to deliver another solid outing and keep the Blue Jays in this contest.

He has allowed three or fewer runs in eight of his 11 starts overall and in five of seven at home.

Prediction: Padres UNDER 4 runs (-115)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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This space is willing to go all-in on Stroman following his solid start against the Red Sox and his recent interleague track record with four wins in his last six starts. Stroman has also allowed two or fewer runs in the first five innings of his last three starts.

Prediction: Blue Jays -0.5 runs (+115)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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This is a confidence pick in Stroman and against the grain considering the over has delivered in the first two games of this series. The hedge is the Padres will regress offensively after scoring 18 runs in the first five innings of their last three games and resemble the team that totaled just three in the previous seven contests.

Prediction: UNDER 4.5 runs (-125)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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This pick is worth a hedge between the confidence in Stroman and also thinking the Padres will have a second pitcher in the first three innings to try and keep the Blue Jays off rhythm.

Prediction: Alternate 3-inning total UNDER 2 runs (+140)

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.