Diamondbacks vs Blue Jays Odds, Picks, Prediction (Friday, July 14)
Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Vlad Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)
Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays Odds
-105 / -115
|Blue Jays Odds|
-105 / -115
We start the second half of the MLB season with a bang as two teams in the playoff picture will meet in Toronto.
The Toronto Blue Jays are currently the third Wild Card team in the American League, but have begun to trim the gap in the AL East, just seven games behind the Rays entering Friday.
As for their opponents, the Arizona Diamondbacks begin the second half tied for the lead in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona was one of the most pleasant surprises of the first half and has proven that it's built to win. This interleague series will be a testament to prove whether or not it can keep it up through the dog days of summer.
Which team will begin the second half on the right foot?
Let's take a closer look at Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays to find out.
The Diamondbacks' lineup significantly outperformed expectations in the first half, with Corbin Carroll leading the way.
But they've also received significant contributions from the veterans. They had three All-Stars in Carroll, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Geraldo Perdomo, but overall, this lineup is due for some sizable regression.
The Diamondbacks enter this matchup hitting .258 as a team, but are 27th in xwOBACON. They've been very fortunate to put up the types of numbers that they have, considering their quality of contact. Their team xBA is .244, and if they don't start squaring up balls soon, they'll likely descend closer to that expected average.
The man they're facing tonight will help with that, as Arizona will have to contend with Jose Berrios. After seasons of struggling north of the border, Berrios finally figured it out over the last two and half months.
After posting a 4.71 ERA in April, Berrios put up a 3.19 ERA in May and then followed it up with a 3.53 ERA in June. His first start of July was dominant as he threw seven shutout innings while allowing just one hit against the White Sox.
He's clearly trending in the right direction, while the Diamondbacks are bound to regress. That discrepancy should show in this matchup.
Speaking of trending in the right direction, the Blue Jays' order has done just that. Over the last 30 days, Toronto ranks third in hard-hit rate.
That amount of hard contact is what we were seeing from them last season when they led the majors in hard-hit and barrel rate. The good news is that hard contact has yet to show up in the box score, and we can capitalize on their impending positive regression.
One guy who's the perfect example of that is Vlad Guerrero Jr. While he was an All-Star and won the Home Run Derby, he's in line to be significantly better in the second half.
He's in the 98th percentile in every quality of contact metric and his xBA is .304. Guerrero and the Blue Jays' lineup will be in a good spot to start hot as they'll face Ryne Nelson.
Nelson enters this outing with a 5.19 ERA and is no stranger to giving up loud contact. He sits in the 25th percentile in hard-hit and 14th in barrel rates, respectively.
Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays Betting Pick
While this could be a very competitive series on paper, the Blue Jays have the edge in all aspects in this opening matchup.
Essentially, Arizona is due to trend down at the dish and on the hill in this matchup, while the Blue Jays are bound to take off.
Back the Blue Jays to get out ahead early and keep building on their lead as the game goes along.
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