A couple of baseball’s playoff contenders meet for the first of 3 games on Friday Night. The Toronto Blue Jays look to build off their 9-5 win over the White Sox behind ace Alek Manoh, whilst the Brewers are fighting to stay in first place in the NL Central. Here is my complete prediction and breakdown.
Blue Jays Can Score
They Blue Jays may have lost their series against the White Sox but they did manage to put up 22 runs over the three-game series. After a slow start to the season the Blue Jays have been lights out from behind the plate, now averaging 4.68 runs per game with a team batting average of .255 and OPS of .753. Alejandro Kirk has had a great season with splits of .307/.395/.487 whilst snagging 26 RBI’s and 8 home runs. As we expected Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has also been putting up big numbers with 42 RBI’s and 17 home runs.
For this game the Blue Jays hand the ball to Alek Manoah, who is really proving himself in his second year. The young right-hander is coming into this one with a 8-2 record, over 81 innings of work. He is posting a ERA of 2.00, WHIP of just 0.94 whilst striking out 73 batters. He’s coming off a 6 hit 4 run game against the Yankees but before that had consecutive no run games. The Toronto bullpen isn’t the strongest in the league with a collective 4.02 ERA, so the Jays will look for Manoah to go deep into this one.
Brewers on Top
The NL Central is proving to be a great title race between the Cardinals and the Brewers who now have the same record with 40-32. Rowdy Tellez got Milwaukee on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI groundout before Tyrone Taylor provided the big blow on a three-run homer in the fourth, with Willy Adames later going deep in their last matchup against the Cards.
Milwaukee still has a struggling offense, despite the record. They are just about average in the league posting 4.3 runs per game on 7.7 hits, combining for a batting average of .231 and OBP of .308. Tellez is enjoying a productive season with a .795 OPS, 11 homers and 41 RBI. Adames is also having another strong campaign, posting a .767 OPS with 15 homers and 36 driven in.
For this game Adrian Houser is taking the mound for the Brewers and is having an average season. The righty is coming in with a 4-7 record over 68 innings of work, resulting in a 4.24 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He also has walked 29 batters. He may have got the win in his last start, but it was against a Cincinnati team that struggles to score. In that matchup he allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, including 4 walks. He has now allowed 3 or more runs in three consecutive starts. Lucky for Houser he has a great bullpen to back him up. The Brewers barn is posting a combined 3.48 ERA.
Manoah Throws Gas
Alek Manoah should have no issues limiting the already struggling Brewers offense, so this game comes down to can the Blue Jays score on Houser to and give Manoah run support? Yes. After posting average numbers at the start of the season the Blue Jays now look like one of the best offences in baseball, ranking sixth with a 112 wRC+. Expect Cy Young candidate Manoah to go into the later innings and the Blue Jays to put some runs on the board.
Take the Jays on the money line.
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