The Cardinals head to Toronto without the heart of their lineup, missing both Nolan Arenado and MVP favorite Paul Goldschmidt due to Canada’s ban on unvaccinated travelers. This series would’ve been a challenge even with those two. The Blue Jays have won six straight and are 7-1 since firing manager Charlie Montoyo before the all-star break. After scoring a franchise-record 28 runs at Fenway Park on Friday, Toronto’s talented offense looks like it’s found its groove. Can Jose Berrios do the same against the depleted Cardinals?
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Tuesday’s matchup.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Betting Odds
The Blue Jays enter as -235 favorites on the moneyline, which comes as no surprise given how well they’ve played lately. All that might keep someone from going with Toronto are the struggles Jose Berrios has suffered through this year. Berrios has started to turn an ugly season around, pitching well so far in July, but he still has something to prove after such a volatile first half. With Goldschmidt and Arenado out, it’ll be up to the younger guys to make Berrios pay. Odds are that won’t be enough to compete with the Blue Jays’ offense.
St. Louis Cardinals Starting Lineup
SS T. Edman S
CF D. Carlson S
LF T. O’Neill R
1B A. Pujols R
2B B. Donovan L
3B N. Gorman L
RF L. Nootbaar L
DH C. Dickerson L
C A. Knizner R
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Jose Berrios
Jose Berrios hasn’t lived up to the 7yr/$131M extension the Blue Jays gave him in the offseason. Thought to be a bargain at the time, Berrios has a 5.22 ERA, 4.74 FIP, and -0.3 bWAR through 19 starts (101.2 IP) this season. He has a 1.36 WHIP, has allowed 10.1 hits/9, and is averaging 8.2 K/9 – all his worst marks since he was a rookie in 2016. Berrios has been inconsistent in the past, but that usually had something to do with control issues. Walks aren’t the problem for Berrios this year – contact is.
The former Twins ace has been much better of late, posting a 3.09 ERA over his last 4 starts. Contact has still been an issue in that span – batters are hitting .266 against him in July – but home runs haven’t burned him as much. Fortunately for Toronto, the Cardinals don’t have any intimidating power hitters when Goldschmidt and Arenado are out of the lineup. The pair accounts for over 40% of the Cardinals’ homers, and Goldschmidt hit 4 of the team’s 5 home runs in their series this past weekend. Tommy Edman and Brendan Donovan have a chance to make an impact against Berios given his issues with contact bats. I wonder if Tyler O’Neill is starting to come around after his hugely disappointing first half. O’Neill drove in 5 runs in the Cardinals’ last series and is trying to regain the power he flashed in 2021. The Cardinals will need someone like O’Neill to step up and drive in runs with their stars out.
Toronto Blue Jays Starting Lineup
CF G. Springer R
SS B. Bichette R
1B V. Guerrero R
DH A. Kirk R
RF T. Hernandez R
LF L. Gurriel R
3B M. Chapman R
2B S. Espinal R
C D. Jansen R
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Andre Pallante
Andre Pallante came up big for the Cardinals as a multi-inning reliever in April and May, posting a 1.08 ERA over his first 17 appearances, and injuries forced St. Louis to move him to the rotation at the start of June. His first few outings were a success, but July has been a different story. Pallante has an 8.16 ERA in July, a number affected most by a 7-run implosion against the Braves but not helped by shaky starts against the Phillies and Reds. Overall, Pallante has a solid 3.34 ERA but a more concerning 4.24 FIP and 1.46 WHIP. I see a scenario in which 11 days of rest helps Pallante get back on track after all of those innings, but I also can’t ignore how dominant this Blue Jays team has been lately.
How do you navigate a lineup without real weaknesses? The Red Sox couldn’t find the answer to that question this weekend, allowing 40 runs in three games. Every player in the starting lineup had multiple hits when Toronto scored 28 runs on Friday night, and five different players had 6+ hits in the series. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has started to hit for contact like he did in 2021, and most promising for the Blue Jays is that they scored 40 runs while only hitting 5 homers (and just 4 over the wall!). This isn’t a promising matchup for Pallante, who is as prone to contact as Berrios is – with a higher walk rate. Pallante won’t give too much length regardless, but the Cardinals have an above-average bullpen headlined by Ryan Helsley.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Picks & Prediction
My pick: Over 5 Blue Jays Runs (-105 on FanDuel)
Now back in their home stadium, I think the home runs are coming for the Blue Jays. The Red Sox’ miscues made the highlight reel from Toronto’s 28-run explosion on Friday, but one persistent theme of that game was hard contact from Jays hitters. It translated to runs at Fenway, and it should translate to home runs sooner than later. It looks like regression has begun for Andre Pallante – Toronto has exactly the kind of offense that can make him pay.