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Sometimes returns to former teams can bring back a lot of memories, good and bad. The fans can greet the player with a warm reception or can boo them every time they touch the ball or come to bat. So far, it seems that Marcus Stroman coming back to Toronto has been a positive atmosphere. Will that be the case tonight?
Stroman is pitching well for the Cubs, but probably not as good as the Cubs were hoping for when they signed him in the offseason. After an outstanding July, Stroman has had only one really good start in August. In his other four starts, he has allowed 18 runs (14 earned) in 29 innings. Still, most of Stroman’s good performances have come on the road. In 10 road starts, Stroman has a 2.08 ERA, allowing just 13 earned runs in 56.1 innings. Back when Stroman pitched for the Blue Jays in 2019, he posted a 3.25 ERA over 12 starts. Stroman will likely put the Cubs in a position to win the game, but I’m not sure I can back them today.
A lot of my hesitation comes from the Cubs having to face Kevin Gausman. Even though Gausman has been significantly worse in home starts, he’s still been pitching well, save for his most recent start against the Red Sox. In his last six home starts he has allowed 17 earned runs in 22 innings. The Cubs aren’t the best hitting team in the world, but they’ve been playing better lately. Cubs hitters are just 9-for-38 against the Blue Jays’ right-hander, but they do have seven RBIs in those at-bats.
This game has two very inconsistent pitchers. There is value on the Cubs to win this game, but I won’t take it. The odds should be much closer to the Cubs being +145. Instead, I think that we see some runs from both pitchers and get over the 7.5 total at -115.