Phillies vs Blue Jays Pick Today | MLB Odds, Predictions for Wednesday, August 16

Phillies vs Blue Jays Pick Today | MLB Odds, Predictions for Wednesday, August 16 article feature image

Via Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Citizens Bank Park on August 04, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Phillies vs. Blue Jays Odds

Phillies Logo
Wednesday, August 16
7:07 p.m. ET
Blue Jays Logo
Phillies Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110/ -110
Blue Jays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110/ -110
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
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In a quick interleague series between a pair of playoff hopefuls, the Blue Jays took the first game 2-1 last night over the Phillies. The Blue Jays maintained their position in the third AL wild card spot and remain two games up on the Mariners.

The Phillies lost ground to the Giants last night but still hold a two-game lead over the Giants for first wild card spot in the National League.

The Phillies and Blue Jays feature several potent hitters throughout their lineups. However, they have both struggled to score runs of late.

With tonight’s starting pitching matchup of Aaron Nola vs. Kevin Gausman, runs may remain at a premium.

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Philadelphia Phillies

For the third straight Wednesday, I am previewing a Phillies game. I don’t expect a no-hitter this week, but those are impossible to predict pre-game.

However, I am particularly interested in how the Phillies' bats perform in this one.

Through their first 11 games this month, the Phillies averaged 6.8 runs per game. Over their last three games, they have scored just two runs total.

The Phillies have faced starters Pablo Lopez, Sonny Gray and Yusei Kikuchi in the past three games, but you would likely say Kevin Gausman presents the toughest challenge of the four.

However, the Phillies' hitters will enter this one with prior success against Gausman. Bryce Harper is 9-for-21 (.429) with a home run, and Trea Turner is 8-for-24 (.333) against Gausman. Nick Castellanos is 7-for-24 (.292) with two home runs against him. Additionally, in typical Kyle Schwarber fashion, he has three hits in 10 at-bats off Gausman – all of which are home runs.

The Phillies’ offense, however, averages more runs and has a higher batting average and OPS at home. Meanwhile, Gausman’s splits are slightly better at home. To win this game, the Phillies may need Aaron Nola to outduel Gausman.

When Nola is on, he is certainly capable. Though he officially missed a quality start in his last outing against Washington, Nola battled through five innings, allowing one earned run, scattering five hits and striking out six on 105 pitches

That start came at Citizens Bank Park, where Nola has a 3.59 ERA this season. His ERA jumps to 5.15 on the road, though he has been a bit unlucky. For the season, Nola has a 4.49 ERA, but his xERA is 3.81.

Nola is league average or above in most metrics this season, most notably Walk Rate, where he ranks in the 88th percentile among qualified pitchers. Against an aggressive Blue Jays lineup, I would not expect too many free passes from Nola tonight.

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Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays got some good news last night as Bo Bichette began his rehab assignment. The All-Star shortstop has been out since July 31 with right patellar tendinitis in his knee that he suffered while rounding first base.

Bichette remains out of the lineup for tonight’s game, which is a big loss for the Blue Jays.

Despite not playing a game in August, Bichette still leads the American League with 144 hits. He is hitting .321 with 17 home runs, 59 runs batted in and a .847 OPS. Since Bichette has been out of the lineup, the Blue Jays are averaging 4.2 runs per game, which is not far from their season average of 4.5 per game.

However, with last night’s game, the Blue Jays have scored three runs or fewer in six of their past eight games.

First baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has struggled lately, hitting .241 with just one home run and a .668 OPS over his last 15 games.

The Blue Jays may also be without third baseman Matt Chapman, who has missed the last two games with a sore middle finger.

However, the Blue Jays will still be entering tonight’s game with a ton of confidence with Gausman getting the ball. Only Spencer Strider has more strikeouts than Gausman’s 183 in just 139 innings this season. He is also sixth in the MLB with a 3.04 ERA, which drops to 2.71 at home.

He has a 3.71 xERA, which indicates he’s been a tad bit lucky and certainly luckier than Nola. Gausman gives a lot of hard contact and does not rank favorably in Average Exit Velocity, Hard Hit Percentage or Barrel Rate.

However, when he needs to get out a jam, he is typically able to do so with a strikeout.

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Phillies vs. Blue Jays

Betting Pick & Prediction

With this pitching matchup, I lean toward the under with a total of 8 runs. However, I am going to focus on the first three innings of the game.

Nola is holding opposing hitters to a . 208 opposing batting average and .680 OPS the first time through the order. He has particularly excelled in the second inning, in which he has a 0.75 ERA in 24 starts.

Gausman can struggle in the first inning at times, but opponents are hitting .251 with a .735 OPS against him the first time through the order.

Last night’s game was scoreless until the sixth inning. With both offenses struggling coming in, this game could have the look of a pitchers' duel early on.

I am targeting the first three innings instead of the first five because when Nola struggles, it is usually because of one big inning. In this spot, I’m hoping that inning is the fourth inning or later.

At 2.5 runs, we do have a little wiggle room if, for instance, Schwarber hits a leadoff homer off Gausman. However, another scoreless first half of the game will make this sweat-free.

Pick: First 3 Innings Under 2.5 Runs (-130 | FanDuel)

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