It's a rematch (of sorts) of the classic 1993 World Series,
but also a matchup of last place teams, when the Philadelphia Phillies hit
Toronto for three interleague games with the Blue Jays starting Friday.
The Phillies continue to let us down, and we had expected them to get back on track yesterday but they once again fell. Today we are going to move our focus over to the matchup total.
Phillies vs. Blue
Jays series set-up
Philly just took two of three games in Minnesota this week
and is now 3-3 on its current road trip. The Phillies have scored 39 runs in
those last six games, and allowed 37, helping five of those six games play OVER on the totals.
On the other side of this matchup Toronto just got swept
three games at home by Washington, and has lost six of its last seven overall.
The Jays have been held to three runs or fewer in six of those last seven
So five-time defending division champion Philly, at 31-34,
sits in last place in the NL East, nine games behind now of the first-place
Toronto, meanwhile, at 31-32, is tied for last place in the
AL East, 6.5 games back of the first-place Yankees.
Saturday's pitching preview
A couple of pretty good lefties go at it Saturday (1:07 E) as Philly's Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.18) and Toronto's Ricky Romero (7-1, 4.15) square off.
Lee, winless so far this year, is six-for-10 on quality starts, but the Phillies are just 3-7 when he's started. Part of that has to do with run support, as Philly has lost Lee starts by scores of 2-1, 1-0 and 2-1.
Most recently Lee gave up four runs in six innings in a loss to Baltimore, and over his last five starts, covering 33 2/3 innings, he's allowed 17 runs. So Lee hasn't been anything special lately.
Romero is only six-for-13 on QS this year, but the Jays have won nine of his 13 starts. However, like Lee, Romero has been rather mediocre lately. In his last start he gave up three ER on eight hits in four innings vs. Atlanta, and over his last four outings Romero has been pegged for 14 runs in 23 innings.
On the season Romero has given up 68 hits in 82 innings, but the 41 walks are a concern.
Phillies vs. Blue Jays recent history
These teams met for an interleague series last July also in Toronto, with Philly taking two of three games. All three of those games played 'over' on the totals.
Phillies vs. Blue Jays injury report
Philly, of course, is still playing without both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, as they rehab from injuries suffered last year. In their absence the Phillies rank 14th in the Majors in scoring at 4.4 runs per game.
Phillies vs. Blue Jays free MLB pick for Saturday
Neither Lee nor Romero has been exactly lights-out lately, so we'll go with the 'over' for our free MLB pick for Saturday.
Friday's pitching matchup
Vance Worley (3-2, 3.00) will hit the hill Friday night
(7:07 pm Eastern) for Philly against rookie Drew Hutchison (5-3, 4.66) for
Worley has five quality starts this year out of nine tries,
but the Phillies are only 4-5 in his starts. Worley, who spent some time on the
DL recently because of a sore elbow, has started twice since coming back,
allowing three earned runs on nine hits in 10 innings, although Philadelphia
lost both those games.
On the season Worley has given up 53 hits and walked 19 in
Hutchison is four-for-10 on quality starts this year, and
yet the Jays are 6-4 in his starts. In his most recent outing the Braves got
him for five ER and a couple of homers in 6 1/3 innings, but in his two starts
before that he had allowed just one ER in 14 innings, and struck out 14.
For the year Hutchison has given up 59 hits and walked 19 in
Phillies vs. Blue
Jays Friday betting odds and trends
According to our sampling of online sportsbooks Toronto can
be found at as low as -120 for Friday night's game, while Philly can be gotten
at as much as +115.
The Jays are also being offered at as much as +160 on the
run line at some baseball betting outlets.
And most online sportsbooks have tagged this game with an
'over/under' of nine.
Early public betting on the side on Friday's game has seen a
slim 51-49 lean toward Toronto, while action on the total has leaned toward the
'over' by a 53-47 percent margin.
Philadelphia is a lopsided 41-23 on the 'over/unders' this
The 'over/unders' are 7-2 in Worley's starts this year, but
3-7 in Hutchison's starts.
Phillies vs. Blue Jays free MLB pick for Friday
Philadelphia hasn't been doing anything great lately, or making up ground in the NL East, but Toronto has been outright lousy. So we'll add the Phillies and the underdog price to our list of free MLB picks for Friday.