Rob Senior previews the San Diego Padres vs. Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, July 18. He provides his expert prediction as well as best bets.
Date & Time: Tuesday, July 18, 7:07 P.M. Eastern
Moneyline: San Diego Padres (-120) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (-105)
Runline: Padres -1.5 (+140)/Blue Jays +1.5 (-160)
Total: Over 8.5 (-120)/Under 8.5 (-115)
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Weather: Retractable Roof
Padres vs. Blue Jays: Preview and Picks
Let’s look north of the border for Tuesday’s matchup, an interleague showdown between a pair of potentially explosive offenses in the Padres and Blue Jays.
The matchup features a number of baseball’s most exciting young sluggers in Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Juan Soto. But as you’ll see, our play has more to do with the matchup on the pitching mound.
San Diego Padres Preview
Last year’s run to the NL Championship Series was not a breakout for the Padres. In fact, they’re just trying to stay above water with a record of 44-50, and calls from some MLB experts indicate they should be thinking about dealing one or two of their top players at the deadline.
They’d have no shortage of options, with the likeliest being OF Juan Soto, a 24-year-old All-Star hitting .262 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI. Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. aren’t going anywhere, but both are hoping for second-half breakouts despite tying for the team lead in home runs at 17.
A simple look at the stats makes the Padres’ struggles a mystery. There’s no better example than Tuesday’s starter Joe Musgrove. The 30-year-old righty is 8-2 with a 3.29 ERA, averaging a strikeout per inning pitched with a 5-0 record in his last seven games.
Toronto Blue Jays Preview
Everyone saw Vladimir Guerrero Jr. win last week’s Home Run Derby. This has enhanced his profile as one of MLB’s brightest young stars.
But he’s not alone on this offense. Bo Bichette, another son of a former major leaguer (Dante Bichette), is every bit as important to Toronto’s attack. The shortstop bats a robust .317 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI.
OFs George Springer and Daulton Varsho offer the depth in this lineup, with six Blue Jays in all in double figure in home runs.
The key to Toronto’s quest to remain in the AL East and Wild Card races will be pitching, and the X-factor is Alek Manoah. Manoah struggled early this season, heading to the minors after a particularly rough May. He returned for one start before the All-Star break, going six innings and allowing one run against the Tigers July 7.
San Diego Padres vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction
So the question is whether Manoah is “fixed”?
Musgrove is becoming Mr. Reliable for San Diego, while Toronto’s starter has one strong start to show since his return.
On pure potential, this matchup goes in favor of Manoah. But on current form, I think Musgrove is the more reliable of two options. With a pair of similar offenses and two strong bullpens, I side with the more reliable starting pitcher.
Prediction: San Diego Padres (-120) over Toronto Blue Jays