Washington Nationals vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The surging Washington Nationals head north of the border to square off with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are -155 favorites over the Nationals with an over/under run total set at 8.
Washington appeared on the verge of giving up first in the National League East the Nationals have gone on a bit of a hot streak culminated by a 4-3 victory at Boston on Sunday. The win gave the Nats a three game sweep and victories in six of eight as the offense and pitching have put forth quality efforts in this stretch. That was a winning combination Sunday with starter Jordan Zimmermann allowing three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks with seven strikeouts. The bats posted seven hits while walking three times with Danny Espinosa posting a two run double while Roger Bernadina doubled in the game winner in the top of the ninth. Washington hands the ball to Edwin Jackson who has four straight quality starts under his belt but is just 1-2 with a no decision. Jackson looks to build on his last start when he defeated the Mets 5-3 with three runs allowed (two earned)on three hits and four walks in seven frames.
Toronto hasn’t been playing great and haven’t been doing all that poorly but the Jays can be streaky. Toronto hammered Atlanta 12-4 on Sunday to snap a three game slide and prevent getting swept by the Braves. The bottom line is the Blue Jays are in fourth in the American League East while playing around .500 ball over the past ten contests which won’t be enough to make up ground and challenge in the division. When Toronto scores, they tend to win and they did plenty Sunday which easily made up for an uneven start from Ricky Romero who gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits over four frames with the pen tossing five scoreless innings. The offense exploded with 18 hits with Brett Lawrie and Cody Rasmus going deep while combining for five hits and six RBI’s. Surging Brandon Morrow toes the rubber Monday, having gone 3-1 in his last four outings including a pair of complete game shutouts in which he gave up five hits and struck out 13.
Jackson will win his share of games but when Morrow is at the top of his game, he is one of the best in the game. The problem I have here is laying the juice with the better pitcher but not necessarily the better team. I’ll take the Nationals in this spot though.
Washington Nationals +135 Toronto Blue Jays