Cubs vs Blue Jays MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet the Total in Toronto (Monday, August 29)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Berrios #17 of the Toronto Blue Jays walks to the dugout under the CN Tower.
- The Chicag Cubs continue their nine-game road trip with a stop in Toronto to face the Blue Jays.
- Both teams are sending out below average pitchers and Kenny Ducey sees value on the over/under in the matchup.
- He breaks down the game and his betting picks below.
Cubs vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-250|
|Over/Under||9 (-114 / -106)|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
One of the best things about betting on baseball is the very interesting pitching matchups you will get on a daily basis. Nothing is better proof of this than Monday’s scheduled duel between Javier Assad and Jose Berrios.
There is so much to unpack here, so let’s get into how to bet tonight’s matchup Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays.
Cubs Showing Signs of Life on Offense
Let’s start with Assad. If you’ve never heard of him before, you certainly aren’t alone — and no one would exactly fault you for it. The right-hander doesn’t exactly have the traits associated with a superstar pitcher — like an electric fastball or a devastating put-away pitch — but he’s rarely put a foot wrong this season.
Assad was dominant at Double-A with a 2.51 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts), and after earning a promotion to Triple-A, he registered a 2.95 ERA in 36 2/3 innings at that level. Chicago decided to call him up last week, and he delivered four shutout innings against a dangerous St. Louis Cardinals team with three strikeouts. He did, however, allow four hits with four walks — and given his 3.0 walks per nine throughout the minors, that is certainly something to note.
Speaking of walks, only six teams in the past two weeks have reached based by virtue of a free pass at a lower rate than the Cubs. In that time-frame, they’re ranked third-to-last in wRC+, but that is incredibly surprising considering they’ve slugged 17 home runs — tied for sixth in the league. It’s not as if they’ve been done in by strikeouts, either, punching out at a 23.1% rate.
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Can Toronto Turn Solid Hitting Into Runs?
Would you have thought that the Cubs would be the team with 17 homers in the last two weeks, and it’d be the Blue Jays — one of the most loaded offenses in the American League — with just eight? That is the second-lowest mark over the last two weeks, which has come along with a meek 98 wRC+.
The Blue Jays have boasted a solid 9.4% walk rate in that span — one of the best around — which should certainly be a contributing factor on Monday against the walk-happy Assad. They’ve also limited strikeouts to the tune of a 20.4% clip, but once again it’s worth noting that they’ve seen nothing despite all the good at-bats. They’re hitting .242 with no power.
It does seem that Jose Berrios is starting to get things under wraps with just three earned runs in his last two outings against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, spanning 12 2/3 innings. He’s only walked two and allowed one home run.
I’ll send my congratulations here to the embattled righty, with a note that he still owns a 7.08 ERA in August and some of the worst peripherals around for the season like a 5.26 xERA and .420 xwOBA on contact.
Cubs-Blue Jays Pick
Berrios’ numbers over the course of the season tell me all I need to know here. He owns an 11.1% barrel rate and a whopping 27 home runs — the most in the American League. I’m not exactly thrilled by the idea of him trying to navigate a Chicago offense that has hit so many longballs in the last two weeks.
On the other hand, it doesn’t get much worse than a guy who walked one batter per inning in his first big-league start against a team with an elite walk rate. Toronto may look average right now offensively but this is a very good spot to buy low on this team.
I’ll back both offenses and fade both pitchers by grabbing the over.
Pick: Over 9 (-121)
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