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Blue Jays vs. Dodgers, 4:10 ET
Could this be a World Series preview? I get it, I’ve been talking about playoffs and division races and everything under the sun since the beginning of the season, so maybe it is too early to even consider anything about who could make the World Series, but that’s what they play for, so it is one of my first thoughts. In any case, I do think there is a real possibility that the Dodgers and Blue Jays could play for the championship later this year.
I’m not really sure why, but the Blue Jays are one of those teams that I seem to gravitate towards when considering who I want to root for. I actually like the team and think that they are full of fun players. Perhaps it is the fact that they have three players on the team that are sons of former big leaguers. I also like that the team seems to be helping the on-field product by adding via trades at deadlines and signing players in free agency. Not everything has worked out for them, of course, but right now, they are in decent shape and probably will get one of the three Wild Card spots. What they do with that spot once they get in is anyone’s guess. Today, they send out Yusei Kikuchi to the hill for them. He’s been surprisingly good for the Blue Jays this year. This is arguably his best year of his career, but you need to face it: he is an average-at-best starter. He is coming off 10 consecutive strong innings with just one earned run allowed, but that followed 9.1 innings where he allowed 9 runs.
The Dodgers are doing what they typically do – win a ton of games and look to add to their squad around the deadline. The Diamondbacks were a nice story in the first half of the season, but the division has to be the Dodgers to lose. They’ve now built a four-game lead over both the Diamondbacks and the Giants, and the Padres look like they will probably trade away players rather than add to the team at this point. One area that the Dodgers will look to add is their pitching staff. Perhaps the best addition would be their starter from today becoming the starter he was last year. Tony Gonsolin was great last season but has struggled a bit this season. He has a 4.38 home ERA and both June and July have been tough on him with 27 earned runs over 42 innings. He’s only snuck two solid starts in his last eight outings, and the Dodgers are 4-4 in those games. Only Daulton Varsho has seen Gonsolin with any significance in his career and he has been pretty bad against him.
I think the Dodgers are the team to beat in this game. I don’t have faith in Kikuchi at all, and while Gonsolin hasn’t been very good lately, I do feel like he has a better chance to navigate this tough lineup thank Kikuchi does. I’ll back the Dodgers at -130. I would love to play the over, but 10 is a high number even with these pitchers and this offense. I don’t feel safe playing the under though.
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