The Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves wrap up a quick two-game Interleague series on Tuesday, with the Braves going for the sweep. Atlanta won the opener on Monday, earning a 6-3 victory.
The win increased Atlanta’s lead in the National League East to 6.5 games after the Washington Nationals lost to the Mets on Monday. The victory pushed the Braves’ current winning streak to five games, with wins over Toronto being at both ends of the streak. Toronto’s playoff dreams were dashed a long time ago, as the Blue Jays come into this contest 35 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the American League East.
The moneyline for this contest has the Toronto Blue Jays +190 and the Atlanta Braves -220. The over/under for the game has been set at 10.5.
Making An Impression
For the Blue Jays, the next few weeks will be a chance to look at some young players and start making decisions on who fits into their plans for next season. One of those players is pitcher Wilmer Font, who will get the start in the series finale. Font is playing for his third different team this season, having pitched for Tampa Bay and the New York Mets prior to coming to Toronto. The 29-year-old is 1-1 with the Blue Jays with a 2.49 ERA, striking out 36 and walking seven in 25 1/3 innings of work. He has only gone more than two innings in an appearance twice in 13 outings with Toronto, nine of them starts.
The Blue Jays have dropped 11 of their last 14, including being no-hit by Houston’s Justin Verlander on Sunday, though looking at the competition — Atlanta, Houston, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle — over that stretch, it’s hard to feel like Toronto should have done better. Still, the offense has been a big problem over that time, with the Blue Jays averaging just 2.9 runs over that span. Randal Grichuk hit his 24th home run of the season on Monday, as he leads the Blue Jays in both that category and with his 62 RBI.
Atlanta looks like it is getting itself ready for the postseason, winning 13 of its last 15 to all but sew up the National League East crown. Mike Foltynewicz is also getting himself into a groove of late, winning his last three decisions, including two since he was called back up from Triple-A a month ago. Since he rejoined the Braves’ rotation, Foltynewicz has a 3.90 ERA (compared to his 6.37 ERA when he was sent down) and has struck out 29 in 27 2/3 innings. He hasn’t earned a decision in his last three starts, though the Braves have won all three, including a victory over Toronto last week in which Foltynewicz went 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs.
Freddie Freeman may be one of the most overlooked players in the league, considering he leads a playoff team in nearly every offensive category yet can’t get much consideration for league MVP. Freeman leads the National League in RBI with 114, is second in runs scored with 107, and ranks in the top 10 in batting average (.298), home runs (38), walks (75) and slugging percentage (.576). Yet ask most people about the Braves’ top hitters, and most will talk about Ronald Acuna Jr. or Ozzie Albies — both playing very well in their own right, but not to the level of Freeman.
Atlanta Earns Sweep
Toronto really doesn’t have a lot of incentive to earn wins, other than being a spoiler. But Atlanta is still hoping to catch the Dodgers for the top spot in the National League, sitting 4.5 games behind them heading into Tuesday’s action. Foltynewicz appears to have found himself on the mound, and that should continue against the Blue Jays. I’m taking Atlanta -220 to get the win in this one.