Toronto Blue Jays vs. Philadelphia Phillies MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/8/14
Philadelphia Phillies (15-16) at Toronto Blue Jays (16-17)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm (Rogers Centre)
AJ Burnett (R) (2-1) (2.061) vs. R.A. Dickey (R) (2-3) (5.008)
The Line: Toronto Blue Jays -129 / Philadelphia Phillies +119 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: CSN-PHI, SNET
The Toronto Blue Jays will go for the four-game sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.
The Phillies have lost five of their last seven games and drop two games below .500. While the Phillies pitching hasn’t been great, it’s been their batting lineup that has produced two or fewer runs in five of their last eight games, which includes a 10-0 shutout on Wednesday. The Phillies have to find offensive production besides Marlon Byrd and Ryan Howard, who have combined for 10 homeruns and 40 RBI. Taking the mound Thursday will be A.J. Burnett, who is 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA and has 35 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. Burnett is 3-4 with a 5.64 ERA in 10 career starts against the Blue Jays.
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The Blue Jays have won four straight games and have found themselves back at .500. As has been the case for much of the season, the Blue Jays offense is getting it done, scoring six or more runs in four of their last five games, including 19 runs in the first three in this series. Edwin Encarnacion has homered in back-to-back games and Colby Rasmus has 11 RBI in his last 11 games. The Blue Jays pitching has to improve, which could start with R.A. Dickey, who is 2-3 with a 5.01 ERA and has 33 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Dickey is 3-4 with a 2.90 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies.
The Phillies are 5-0 in Burnett's last 5 starts and 4-0 in Burnett's last 4 starts as an underdog. The Blue Jays are 5-1 in Dickey's last 6 home starts and 1-4 in Dickey's last 5 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
You have to like the Blue Jays with the way they've been hitting the ball, and it also helps that Dickey is on the mound, a pitcher who is capable of throwing a gem at times. The Phillies are struggling to do anything right now and there's little value in taking them as a dog in this spot.