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Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays Betting Preview

Young stars will be on full display Tuesday as the Washington Nationals (8-11) take on Bo Bichette and the Toronto Blue Jays (10-11). The Blue Jays will host this one at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., with the first pitch scheduled for 7:07 pm ET.

Currently, the Nationals sit in last place in a loaded NL East. With that being said, just two games separate them from first place (New York Mets). After dropping two out of three to the Mets over the weekend, the Nationals will look to get back on track starting Tuesday.

The Blue Jays had a little better luck as they took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend. Still, they sit in third place in the AL East, three games behind the Red Sox.

The Nationals are the favorites in this one despite playing on the road. They are -160 to win, while the Blue Jays’ moneyline sits at +148. The over/under for total runs is 8.5.

Pitching Matchup

The Nationals will send their ace, Max Scherzer (1-1, 1.80 ERA), to the mound on Tuesday. Scherzer has been brilliant this year as he has a 0.72 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in just 25 innings. The 36-year-old will try to keep it going against the Blue Jays.

Toronto will counter with righty Trent Thornton. Thornton is taking on more of an “opener” role with the Blue Jays. In his last outing, he threw two innings of scoreless ball and allowed just two hits.

By The Numbers

Offensively, both of these teams have surprisingly been in the bottom third in terms of scoring. The Blue Jays rank 20th, averaging just 3.95 runs per game. The Nationals are 29th, averaging 3.26 runs.

Defensively, it is once again Toronto with the advantage. The Blue Jays rank second in the majors in runs allowed per game at just 3.43 (2.67 over their last three games). The Nationals rank 20th, allowing 4.53 runs per game.

Nationals Need To Find Consistency

The Nationals have made a habit out of getting off to slow starts. This was most noticeable in 2019, the year they won the World Series when they started 19-31. In a very deep division, though, they need to find some consistency early so that they don’t fall too far behind.

Leading the way on offense are young stars Juan Soto and Trea Turner. Soto is currently hitting .300/.410/.460 with two home runs, eight runs batted in and 11 runs scored.

He is doing a nice job of being patient at the plate as he has 10 walks versus just seven strikeouts but is sidelined for this series with a shoulder injury.

Leading the team in home runs is shortstop Trea Turner. Unlike Soto, there has been too much swing and miss in his game as he has 19 strikeouts (versus only three walks). Still, hitting .274 and adding five stolen bases, he can put a lot of pressure on opponents.

Leading the team in runs batted in is third baseman Starlin Castro. He currently has 12 runs batted in.

Blue Jays Try To Find Footing At ‘Home’ Field

Due to COVID-19 regulations, the Blue Jays still have not been able to play in their home park in Toronto. Rather, they have called TD Ballpark their home park. At 3-3, they would like to improve on their home record.

Leading the way offensively for the Blue Jays have been Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bichette is tied for the team lead in home runs (five) and is hitting .250/.297/.476. Guerrero is hitting .338/.472/.563 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Newcomer Marcus Semien has also had a nice start to the season. Even though he has just a .214 batting average, he has five home runs, 10 runs batted in and five stolen bases in the early going.

Toronto might also get its other offseason acquisition back Tuesday in outfielder George Springer. Sidelined with an oblique and quad strain thus far, he is set to make his debut.

Taking The Nationals To Win

This one is all about the pitching. While Thornton has done fine this season and Toronto’s bullpen has been solid, it is hard to bet against the Nationals when Scherzer is on the mound.

The Blue Jays certainly have the talent to strike, but the smart bet is on the Nationals to win behind a strong performance from “Mad Max.”

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