The Toronto Blue Jays (27-25) will face the Miami Marlins (24-28) to begin a two-game set on Tuesday, which serves as the first of four meetings between these teams in 2021. The Blue Jays won each of their past two series on the road, but they were swept in their last “home” series, which came last weekend against the Rays in Dunedin. The Marlins have dropped four of their past five games, including a two-game road set in Boston this past weekend. Miami and Toronto are both fourth in their respective divisions.
Free Picks: Toronto Blue Jays vs Miami Marlins
New home, who ‘dis?
Coincidentally, the Blue Jays’ first series at Buffalo’s Sahlen Field last year came against the Marlins. Now, as the Blue Jays settle into their upstate New York home for a second summer — after playing their first 21 home games at their spring complex in Dunedin, Fla. — the Marlins are back again.
Toronto enjoyed a large sum of success at Sahlen Field last year, going 17-9 (.654) in the ballpark that is usually reserved for its Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. For their debut game in Buffalo this season, the Blue Jays -182 money line favorites (10Bet) on the day’s MLB picks. The Marlins are +145 money line underdogs (10Bet), which is pretty interesting based on a few factors.
For one thing, Toronto and Miami played four really tight games last year. Three of the four were decided by one run, and two of the four went to extra innings. These teams don’t see each other much, given that they play in opposite leagues, but neither one really had the upper hand last year.
Another factor is Miami’s starter, Sandy Alcantara (2-4, 3.46 ERA). His season-long stats don’t seem so eye-popping, but Alcantara has been remarkable of late — save for one blowup start against the reigning World Series champion Dodgers. Two and a half weeks ago, Alcantara allowed eight earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Dodgers. Aside from that, he has a 1.86 ERA in six of his past seven starts. Obviously cherry-picking bad starts is a tad unfair, but that should give you an idea of how well he’s pitched overall in recent weeks.
On the other side, Toronto’s Robbie Ray (2-2, 3.81 ERA) is having a respectable season. But he’s been average at best lately, and he took a loss with five runs (four earned) allowed in 4 2/3 innings to the Yankees his last time out. Ray has a 4.29 ERA over his past seven starts, and a 2-1 record in that span.
One thing that makes the Blue Jays different this year is that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is playing at an MVP pace. He leads the majors in OPS (1.065) and is tied for the league in home runs (16). In any at-bat, on any pitch, Guerrero Jr. can break open a game.
Miami doesn’t have anyone like that, though Starling Marte has been stellar in limited time (.937 OPS in 17 games) and he’s fresh off the injured list. It’ll take a great outing from Alcantara, but we think the Marlins have what it takes to spoil Toronto’s “homecoming,” which is why we’re making them our BetPicks prediction on the money line.
- Toronto is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in six of the Blue Jays’ past 10 games
- Miami is 5-5 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in eight of the Marlins’ past 10 games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).