With the trade deadline fast approaching, and not long after that, the end of the regular season, the Dodgers and Blue Jays are both locked in fascinating postseason races. They’re not identical contests, and the two teams aren’t positioned equally, but nonetheless, this is a huge stretch of games for both squads. Let’s take a look at the odds for this coast-to-coast interleague clash, for which my prediction is a Dodgers win and for the over to hit at -115 odds for a total of 9 runs.
Blue Jays Vs. Dodgers Prediction
After faltering early on and getting dragged into a rare NL West race, the Dodgers are looking more like, well, the Dodgers. The lineup is getting red-hot at the right time, and they’re pulling away a bit, but the job is far from done. Two division foes are still within just a handful of games, the first seed is 7 games away, and the Brewers are only 3 games back for a first-round bye, so there’s lots left to do in this regular season for Dave Roberts and his crew.
For the Blue Jays, it’s been a solid season so far, but not necessarily one to be content with because of their situation. They’re 10 games over .500, but in the unbelievably competitive AL East, that’s only 2 games above last place, and 6.5 behind first. They’re in the playoffs as of right now, but as the last seed, and only by a couple games (their closest suitors are those last-place East teams).
The starting pitching matchup is pretty interesting. For the Dodgers, they’re tossing Julio Urías, who has thrown an ERA below 3.00 in each of his past three full (non-COVID) seasons, but is over 5.00 this year after a miserable last outing. Chris Bassitt, the Jays’ starter, has had a bit of an up-and-down campaign, but just got his ERA back down below 4.00 after a spotless six-inning performance against the Padres.
While both of these starters have good stuff, neither one has been particularly dominant this season. Both lineups have the ability to seriously hit the ball, especially LA, so I’m a fan of the over on this one, even with a slightly elevated number of 9. For the result, it’s a tiny bit chalky but I have to take LA. The offense is in much better shape, and for better or worse, Urías has a wicked home/road split, so he could be in line for a sharp outing
Blue Jays Vs. Dodgers Prediction: Dodgers ML (-155), o9 runs (-115)
Blue Jays Vs. Dodgers Odds
The Dodgers are sizable favorites at home with -115 odds compared to +135 for the Jays. For a total of 9 runs, the over is -115 and the under is -105.
Blue Jays Vs. Dodgers Key Matchups
Julio Urías Vs. Power Hitters
One of the biggest contrasts between Urías this season and in the past is his home run rate, which is up to 1.8 per 9 innings. He’s also allowing more barrels despite not giving up many hard hits overall, so keeping the ball down and in the park will be a huge focus for him. Toronto is just about league-average in terms of power numbers, but there are some guys who can put it out of the park, so let’s take a look at a few.
Of course, when we’re talking about the Blue Jays and homers, we have to talk about the Derby champ, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He leads the team so far with 17 bombs, but Bo Bichette is right behind with 16, and he’s been probably the team’s best overall bat all season on. George Springer is up next with 13 while Matt Chapman and Daulton Varsho are right behind with 12.
One interesting bat is Danny Jansen, who has a dozen homers as well but has done it in just over 60 games compared to the 95+ the others have all played. I think Urías can limit the damage enough to keep his team ahead, but this lineup’s ability to tag him for a couple is a big part of why I have the over in my Blue Jays vs. Dodgers prediction.
Max Scherzer Vs. Left-Handed Heavy Lineup
Conversely, Bassitt is doing an okay job of keeping the ball in the park, but he’s definitely letting more men on base than ever before. The Dodgers definitely have a number of guys who can hurt him in that area- their team OBP of .335 is good for third-best in the show.
Leading the charge in that category is an incredibly unsurprising name, Freddie Freeman. He’s once again annihilating the ball with an OPS just below 1.000, a batting average right around .330, and most relevantly for this discussion, an OBP over .400. Will Smith is right behind him, with one of the best offensive seasons by a catcher in recent memory. Behind Smith is Mookie Betts, who like Freeman is right in the thick of the NL MVP race and has an OBP in the very high .300s.
After that group, there’s a big gap down to the .340s, where we find veteran Jason Heyward and below him, rookie James Outman, two outfielders having unexpected but strong seasons. Max Muncy is working on an almost-identical pace to last season, with a batting average in the .190s, and an OBP in the .320s. He’s smacking more home runs, but remains a deceptive on-base threat, providing the kind of depth to this lineup that gives me the confidence to pick the Dodgers moneyline in my Blue Jays vs. Dodgers prediction.
Blue Jays Vs. Dodgers Starting Lineups
Blue Jays Starting Lineup
RF G. Springer R
SS B. Bichette R
DH B. Belt L
1B V. Guerrero Jr. R
3B M. Chapman R
2B W. Merrifield R
LF D. Varsho L
C D. Jansen R
CF K. Kiermaier L
Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF M. Betts R
1B F. Freeman L
C W. Smith R
DH J. Martinez R
3B M. Muncy L
SS M. Rojas R
2B M. Vargas R
CF J. Outman L
LF J. Deluca R