The action continues to heat up on the diamond as the MLB Schedule looks to wrap up an exciting month of May. Luckily for fans and sports bettors looking to cash in before the end of the month the MLB Schedule on Thursday is promising with an exciting 12 game slate including a few after noon contests.
For us we love a few of those early afternoon contests including the National League Central battle between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. That being said we are turning our attention to a solid night slate including the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Atlanta Braves at Sun Trust Park.
While these two teams enter this game looking for a much needed win to help get their season back on track. On one side the Blue Jays have picked up wins in just 17 of their first 41 contests while struggling to a 7-13 mark away from the Rogers Centre. Over on the other side the Braves are not much better as they are just 16-21 on the year while winning just six of their first 14 home games at their brand new ball park to open the season.
Despite the gloom this contest might have the best pitching matchup of the day as the Blue Jays will send Marcus Stroman to the mound while the Braves counter with Julio Teheran. The big question entering this game is will either team score runs to cover the over or will it be a low scoring affair?
Here is a look at tonight’s key matchups between the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins at Marlins Park tonight.
Starting Pitcher Matchup
Marcus Stroman VS Julio Teheran
Marcus Stroman: The Blue Jays starter continues to be one of the bright spots to open the season for the team. Entering his start on Thursday Night, Stroman has fired at least six innings in six of his first eight starts. Over those six starts the Blue Jays starter has allowed no more than two runs in each start. His only struggles this season has come against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. For Stroman despite allowing the current group of Braves to hit nearly .300 off of him he has kept them out of the run column over his career.
Julio Teheran: For the Braves starter the 2017 MLB Season has been a roller coaster ride that has featured a few big time outings while also seeing him struggle in other outings. Over his first eight starts, the Braves starter has worked at least six innings in six of those starts while allowing zero run in three different outings. Entering his next start on Thursday Night, Teheran has allowed the Blue Jays to pick up 17 hits over 67 career at bats with seven of those hits going for home runs. Along with those numbers Teheran has struggled at home this season winning just one of his first four starts while allowing an 8.14 earned run average.
Advantage –Toronto Blue Jays
When you look at these two teams they stack up pretty well on paper and have started the season with nearly the same identical results. For both of these teams one of their bigger concerns has come from their bullpen. Unfortunately for neither of these two teams their pens have not been as good as others as they currently rank 19th and 22nd in bullpen earned run average. On Thursday Night the big question is whether or not these two starters can work past the six innings to limit the other teams scoring chances.
Advantage – Toronto Blue Jays
Prior to the two clubs meeting on Wednesday Night the advantage may have swung to the Braves in this matchup. The bad news since that time is the team lost Freddi Freeman in that ball game leaving the door open for him to miss not only the teams contest on Thursday Night but much longer after being hit on the wrist with a pitch. Now looking deeper at the two clubs lineups the Blue Jays are currently riding the bats of Jose Bautista and Justin Smoak who both homered on Wednesday Night. Outside of those two options the club lacks the additional firepower to put up big runs night in and night out as long as both Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki continue to miss games. For the Braves any game without Freeman will strap them but they still have a very solid lineup that features Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis who are both hitting over .300 to start the season.
Advantage – Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays @ Atlanta Braves (-1.5)
Thursday May 18th, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays Betting Trends
While the wins are coming at a slow pace to open the 2017 MLB Schedule the Blue Jays have taking care of business on the road going 11-8 against the run line. Now for the Jays the numbers point both directions has they have covered the run line in four of their last five games against teams starting a right hander but are just 1-4 against teams with a losing record at home. Other interesting trends to monitor is despite how well Stroman throws the team has covered in just three of his last 14 total road starts.
Atlanta Braves Betting Trends
When a club sits five games under the .500 mark with the end of the second month of the season just around the corner all the numbers will end up looking bad. That is the case with the Braves this season where they are just 5-8 against the runline. On a bright spot the Braves have covered the run line in six of their last ten games including in each of the first three games of this series against the Blue Jays. Much like the Blue Jays the Braves have had their struggles with Teheran on the mound over the past two seasons. Over that stretch the club is just 5-17 in home starts while going just 2-6 in his interleague starts.
Free Pick –Take the Blue Jays