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Blue Jays vs. Phillies, 6:45 ET
Baring some crazy turn of events or a prolonged slump, the Blue Jays will make the playoffs. It isn’t impossible, of course, and they haven’t secured their spot, but they lead the Wild Card race. As for the Phillies, there is a real possibility they will not make the playoffs. The Brewers are hot on their heels and it is basically down to the two of them for who gets the final spot (Padres can be thrown into the mix if you want, too).
If you take a look at the season of Blue Jays starter, Kevin Gausman, you probably would be happy enough on a surface level. He has 12 wins, he has a 3.45 ERA which is top 30 in baseball, and 12th in strikeouts. A lot of teams would love to have him, and I’m not suggesting that Toronto feels any other way. I think they are happy with his performance, but there definitely have been some stretches or situations that he can improve. One area is his home start results. For example, he has a 4.67 ERA at home but has been superb on the road with a 2.45 ERA. September has been tough on Gausman. In three starts, he has allowed 12 earned runs in 19 innings. Luckily for him, the Blue Jays offense has carried them a bit as they’ve won two out of three of his starts. The Phillies have hit Gausman very well in the past going 25-for-69. Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Jean Segura all have really nice numbers against him.
For the Phillies, Zack Wheeler has been arguably their best pitcher for the season. At home, he is even more dominant. He has a 1.95 ERA in Philadelphia and has only allowed 50 hits over 74 innings. He hasn’t pitched since August 20th though with a forearm strain. How many pitches will the Phillies let him have in this one? 75? 90? I can’t imagine it will be a ton. He did have one start against Toronto this season and he allowed six earned runs over 4.2 innings. It obviously wasn’t great, but it was on the road where Wheeler hasn’t been as strong. For the majority of the season, Wheeler has been good – he has 15 quality starts out of his 23 total.
I don’t see a total posted on DraftKings right now, but I do see a 8.5 total at other books. I am going to focus on the first five innings here. I will take the under 4.5 at -125. The Phillies hit Gausman well, and the Blue Jays hit Wheeler hard in the first game, but I think this situation favors the pitchers. I do think there is a bit of value on the Blue Jays for the full game, but very little.
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