Chicago Cubs (60-56) at Toronto Blue Jays (65-53)
Game Info: Saturday, August 12th, 2023 at 3:07 p.m. EST (Rogers Centre)
Betting Odds: Blue Jays ML (-120) - Over/Under (8.5)
Pick: Blue Jays ML (-120)
This one takes us north of the border to the great white north in Canada. As the Chicago Cubs play the second game of a three-game interleague weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays here on Saturday afternoon. Both of these teams are firmly in the middle of the playoff races in their respective leagues and divisions. Both of them will also be looking to pick up a quality victory, and what provides us with one of the best pitching matchups of the day and what should end up being one of the best games of the day as well.
The Chicago Cubs had a sluggish start to the season, but they have played well over the last few weeks and reinserted themselves into the National League Central division title race. They currently sit in second place of the National League Central division only a handful of games behind the Milwaukee Brewers with plenty of baseball left to play this season. Luckily for Chicago they happen to play in arguably the second worst division in all of baseball this season, which is why they are still within striking distance of a playoff spot despite only having 60 wins in their first 116 games of the season.
They looked solid in the opening game of the series as they picked up a multi run victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night to give themselves the advantage coming into game number two on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. They will have their best starting pitcher on the mound as Justin Steele is slated to get the ball here in this one, and he will be going up against a very dangerous Toronto Blue Jays lineup. They will be looking to limit the damage that they cause here on Saturday afternoon much like they did on Friday night and pick up a second consecutive victory in the series so they can clinch the series, as well as set up the opportunity for a sweep on Sunday afternoon as well.
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The Toronto Blue Jays come into the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon looking to bounce back after their loss to Chicago on Friday night. Toronto has been a team that has been able to bounce back after losses this season, and they will be looking to do that and this one and even up the series before heading into Sunday’s finale. Despite the loss to Chicago, Toronto still has a legitimate shot to win the series because of who is pitching for them in this one and how lethal their lineup can be at any given time. Toronto is still well within striking distance to win the American League East division, and they currently occupy one of the three wild card spots in the American League as well.
Former New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt will get to start here in this one on Saturday afternoon. He is having a career revival in Canada this season as he comes into this game with double digit victories already on the year and he will be looking to add another quality start to his résumé here on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. As previously mentioned, this is a quality starting pitching matchup between him and Justin Steele, which doesn’t really give either team a clear advantage in the pitching matchup, but when it comes to their lineups, it certainly sets Toronto apart. I think that’ll be the key and this one as I think the Blue Jays lineup has more than enough to get the job done here on Saturday for Toronto.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Toronto is 28-24 after a loss this season
- Toronto is 25-23 as a home favorite this season
- Chicago is 15-18 as a road underdog this season
Despite the setback on Friday night, I have the Toronto Blue Jays picking up the victory here on Saturday afternoon to even up the series between these two teams. In the end, I expect both Justin Steele and Chris Bassitt to have quality starts, but I do expect the Toronto lineup to break through at some point in the game and lead the Blue Jays to a much-needed victory.
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