Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#969 Toronto Blue Jays 8.5 vs.
#970 Los Angeles Dodgers -230
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 10:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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Two teams in vastly different situations close out an interleague series in the City of Angels. The Toronto Blue Jays bring the youth movement on the road as they finish off a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night. In the opening game of the series Tuesday night, it was the Dodgers bashing five homers en route to an easy 16-3 triumph. The pitching matchup for Wednesday’s middle game of the set saw Wilmer Font get the opener role against the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler. First pitch in that contest was scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.

Toronto Blue Jays Working for the Future

Toronto dropped their third straight game and their fourth in the last five contests as they were overmatched badly in the opener of this set. The Blue Jays entered Wednesday fourth in the AL East, 31.5 games behind the Yankees and 21.5 games behind the Rays for the second wild card. Bo Bichette (two runs, two RBI) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. each had two hits in the game for Toronto. Bichette (his sixth and seventh) and Derek Fisher (his fifth) each went deep in the contest. Buddy Boshers didn’t factor in the decision as the opener: he threw one inning, allowing no runs or hits with a walk and a strikeout. Sean Reid-Foley (2-4) took the loss as he was tagged for five runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings.

Jacob Waguespack takes the mound for his 10th appearance and seventh start of the year for the Blue Jays in this contest. He comes in 4-1 with a 4.20 ERA, a 1.311 WHIP, 14 walks and 35 strikeouts over 45 innings of work on the year. Waguespack earned the win in his last start, which came at home against Seattle Friday night. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in a 7-3 Toronto victory. Waguespack is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, four walks and 11 strikeouts over 17.1 innings in his last three starts. In his 10th major league appearance and seventh career start, he pitches against the Dodgers for the first time. Waguespack, as a result, makes his first career start at Dodger Stadium in this contest. Prior to his recall to the majors, he was 2-6 with a 5.30 ERA, a 1.557 WHIP, 25 walks and 52 strikeouts over 52.2 innings in 12 appearances, 11 starts, with Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.

Los Angeles Dodgers Coasting to the Postseason

Los Angeles overcame an early 2-0 deficit to cruise their way to the win in the opening game of this set thanks to the long ball. The Dodgers entered Wednesday with an extremely comfortable 19-game advantage over Arizona in the NL West race. Los Angeles got homers from A.J. Pollock (his ninth), Joc Pederson (his 25th), Chris Taylor (his ninth), Max Muncy (his 32nd) and Will Smith (his 11th) in the victory. The barrage helped support Clayton Kershaw (13-2) earn the win despite allowing three homers: he gave up three runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts over six innings before turning things over to the bullpen.

Kenta Maeda is in line to take the mound to make his 26th appearance and 25th start of the season for the Dodgers in this one. He is 8-8 with a 4.18 ERA, a 1.118 WHIP, 43 walks and 137 strikeouts over 127 innings of work this season. Maeda didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came against the Braves on the road Friday night. He threw 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and nine strikeouts in an eventual 8-3 Los Angeles victory. Maeda is 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, five walks and 19 strikeouts over 14.1 innings in his last three starts. He didn’t factor in the decision in his lone career start against the Blue Jays, which came on the road on May 6, 2016. In that contest, he threw six innings, allowing two runs on two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in an eventual 5-2 Dodgers loss. Maeda is 26-17 with one save, a 3.17 ERA, a 1.081 WHIP, 78 walks and 313 strikeouts over 286.2 innings in 61 career appearances, 48 starts, at Dodger Stadium.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Waguespack has acquitted himself fairly well at the major league level so far but this is a couple rungs up the ladder from what he’s faced to date. The Dodgers showed their muscle in the opening game of this series as they clubbed five long balls to roll to an easy win. Maeda is still up and down with the way he’s pitched this season as he came up one out short of qualifying for the win in his last outing. He’s been solid at home this season though, going 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA, a 0.855 WHIP, 15 walks and 70 strikeouts over 66.2 innings at Dodger Stadium this season. He has turned in eight quality starts in his 11 starts (one appearance was in relief), which is impressive. That gives the Dodgers the upper hand in the finale here as they get the win to close the set.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Los Angeles racked up 16 runs in the opening game of this set and that kind of offensive barrage makes it easy to take care of business on the mound. The Dodgers have piled up 6.54 runs per game in the second half of the season and have crushed 77 homers in 35 games since the All-Star break after hitting 146 in 92 games prior to the break. Los Angeles is fourth in the majors with 5.58 runs per game and their pitching has done the job with a 3.38 team ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in addition to 70 quality starts. All of those numbers lead the majors: will Toronto’s young lineup find a way to dent the Dodgers’ gaudy numbers?

The over is 5-1 in the Blue Jays’ last six games on Thursday, 20-7 in their last 27 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record and 20-8 in their last 28 interleague road games vs. a right-handed starter. Los Angeles has seen the over go 5-0 in their last five against teams with a losing record, 6-1 in their last seven on Thursday, 5-1 in their last six against AL East foes and 4-1 in their last five against a right-handed starter. The over is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings: seeing the way the Dodgers hammered young pitching in the opener, that trend continues here to push things over the number.

Prediction: Over 9

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Waguespack has pitched well in the early portion of his major league career but some of that stems from facing softer lineups like the Mariners, the Rays (three times), the Royals and the Tigers. While Tampa Bay is in the wild card picture in the American League, the fact remains that they are a mediocre offensive team that has gotten by with pitching. Facing the Dodgers, especially the way they are mashing the ball right now, is a major undertaking for the rookie. Maeda has the experience factor and a terrific offensive onslaught to back him up. The Dodgers get the upper hand after five innings here.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

First Five Innings Total Bet

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After getting off to a slow start on Tuesday night, the Dodgers got their bats going in a big way with a five-run third inning. That jumpstarted the team as they piled on 11 more runs in the contest to cruise to the one-sided victory. Los Angeles tacked on three more runs in the third en route to an 8-2 advantage after five innings of play. All told, the Dodgers put up at least three runs in four different innings en route to the win. This is the challenge that Waguespack has to contend with here: Los Angeles puts up their fair share of runs behind the power surge to push this over the total after five innings.

Prediction: Over
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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.