Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#979 Toronto Blue Jays 8.5 vs.
#980 Los Angeles Dodgers -315
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 10:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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Two teams in vastly different situations kick off an interleague series in the City of Angels. The Toronto Blue Jays bring the youth movement on the road as they open a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night. Toronto dropped the rubber game of their weekend set with the Mariners, getting blanked 7-0 Sunday afternoon at home. Los Angeles fell 5-3 in the rubber game of their three-game road set with the Braves Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers took two of three meetings in Toronto in the last series between the teams May 6-8, 2016.

Toronto Blue Jays Hope to Regroup on the Road

Toronto dropped the final two games of their three-game home set with the Mariners as they were blanked on Sunday. The Blue Jays entered Monday fourth in the AL East race, 31.5 games behind the Yankees and 22 games behind the Rays for the second wild card spot. Toronto mustered only two hits in their loss to Yusei Kikuchi, who had just one win in the last three months: Brandon Drury had a double while Randal Grichuk had a single. Wilmer Font (2-1) took the loss as he allowed one run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts in two innings of work.

Sean Reid-Foley is expected to make his ninth appearance, seventh start, on the mound for the Blue Jays in this contest. He comes in 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.567 WHIP, 19 walks and 26 strikeouts over 30 innings of work on the year. Reid-Foley took the loss in his last outing, which was a start at home against the Rangers Wednesday afternoon. He threw 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a 7-3 Toronto loss. Reid-Foley is 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA, a 1.78 WHIP, nine walks and 10 strikeouts over 12.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his first career start against the Dodgers in this contest, which marks his 16th career appearance and 14th major league start. In his 16th major league appearance and 14th career start, Reid-Foley pitches at Dodger Stadium for the first time.

Los Angeles Dodgers Working to Get Everyone on Track in Stretch Run

Los Angeles dropped the final two games of their three-game series with the Braves on the road in a battle of division leaders. The Dodgers entered Monday holding a ridiculous 18.5-game advantage over the Giants in the NL West picture. Los Angeles got two hits each from Justin Turner (run) and Jedd Gyorko while Cody Bellinger cranked his 42nd homer of the season to account for their offense. Tony Gonsolin didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed one run on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts over four innings. Dustin May (1-2) took the loss as he allowed four runs on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts in two innings of relief.

Clayton Kershaw is on the mound for his 22nd start of the year for the Dodgers in this contest. He comes in 12-2 with a 2.63 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, 28 walks and 141 strikeouts over 137 innings of work on the year. Kershaw picked up the win in his last start, which came Wednesday on the road against the Marlins. He threw seven innings, allowing no runs on two hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts in a 9-1 Dodgers victory. Kershaw is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, six walks and 24 strikeouts over 20 innings of work in his last three starts. He beat the Blue Jays in his lone career start against them, which came on the road back on May 7, 2016. In that contest, he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts in a 6-2 Dodgers win. Kershaw is 91-34 with a 2.09 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, 288 walks and 1,325 strikeouts over 1,191.1 innings in 176 career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Blue Jays are going nowhere this season but they’re getting a chance to give guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio a chance to develop at the major league level. Toronto has had their struggles finding capable pitching, which is a major reason the team is 23 games under .500 at this point of the season. The Blue Jays dealt away Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez in an effort to replenish the farm system to some extent. Kershaw is rolling right now and is 5-0 with a 1.42 ERA, a 0.868 WHIP, 12 walks and 50 strikeouts over 38 innings in his six starts since the All-Star break. He’s allowed just two homers over that stretch after giving up 13 in 99 innings in the first half of the season. The Dodgers are the better team and they roll to the win in this one.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Toronto has struggled mightily at the plate this season as they entered Monday 22nd in the majors with a 4.54 runs per game. The Blue Jays are 29th with a .237 team batting average despite ranking 10th with 195 homers. On the other side of the equation, Los Angeles is ridiculously deep in their lineup to the point where the guys that are on the bench likely could be starters on several teams. The Dodgers are fourth in the majors in runs per game (5.5) and third in homers (217) on the year. Pitching has carried the way with the team leading in team ERA (3.38) and WHIP (1.11) while ranking second in quality starts (69) this season. Can Kershaw keep his second half surge going here and pitch the Dodgers to a win?

The under is 5-0-1 in the Blue Jays’ last 6 games following an off day, 8-0 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game, 3-0-1 in their last 4 games vs. a left-handed starter and 3-0-2 in their last five overall. Los Angeles has seen the under go 4-0 in their last 4 interleague games vs. a right-handed starter, 4-0 in their last 4 interleague home games vs. a right-handed starter and 8-1 in their last 9 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Los Angeles: with the way Kershaw has pitched in the second half, you have to think this one will stay under the total.

Prediction: Under 8.5

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Kershaw has been terrific in the second half of the season, as we discussed earlier. Another impressive statistic to go off of is that Kershaw is 8-0 with a 2.26 ERA, a 1.017 WHIP, 15 walks and 81 strikeouts over 79.2 innings in 12 starts at Dodger Stadium this season. All told, the Dodgers are 11-1 when Kershaw starts at home so far in 2019 with the lone defeat a 3-2 loss to San Diego back on July 5. Reid-Foley has been fortunate as his actual ERA is nearly two runs better than his 4.89 FIP mark this season. The free passes come back to bite him and the Dodgers have the lead after five innings.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers -281

First Five Innings Total Bet

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We pointed out how Reid-Foley has been the beneficiary of some good luck so far this season, which has helped keep his ERA where it is at this point in the season. His 1.567 WHIP and a K:BB ratio of 1.37:1 is cause for concern. In addition, Reid-Foley has given up 10 long balls in his 30 innings of work this season. The Dodgers put up 5.36 runs per game at home and boast a solid .269/.344/.482 slash line in those contests. Los Angeles has the ability to put up crooked numbers quickly and they attack Reid-Foley. That helps push this one over the number after five innings.

Prediction: Over 4.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.