Post Trade Deadline, Struggling Blue Jays Head To Boston In Pivital Weekend Series

Aug 4, 2023

Now a couple days removed from the deadline, the Blue Jays made a few moves, picking up some bullpen reinforcement (Cabrera/Hicks) and Paul DeJong, all coming from the Cardinals. If you look back to my most recent piece, Hicks and DeJong are two players I highlighted that were attainable for the Jays to go out and get, which they did (small pat on the back).

Needs were addressed, time to charge ahead. While the front office didn’t make a huge splash at the deadline, fans are hoping the new acquisitions can pay dividends much sooner rather than later.

The Jays just dropped their final matchup of this 4 game series against the division leading Baltimore Orioles. Not the way you want to start the first half of the week as they now head into the weekend for a 3 game set against the surging Boston Red Sox, in Fenway. The runners left in scoring position have been a big concern, and without the run support, the Jays could find themselves in trouble and potentially slipping down the rankings. 

Joining us on the latest episode of ‘Down By Two’ was Ben Holmes (Sportsnet, Sportsnet Bets, Ben’s Best Bets) as we dish out our top wagers for Friday and what to watch for.

Josh Elijah: Boston Red Sox Moneyline (-144)

Best Odds: Pinnacle

Yes, I’m taking the Red Sox. I don’t want to, but I have to, seeing how the Jays are 0-7 against Boston this year and did not look great against the O’s.

This is a very tough road series to run into after being outperformed by an Orioles squad that is climbing the power rankings, going 17-9 over the last month. The Sox are playing great baseball as well, going 15-8 in July and inching closer to the final wild card spot. The race could look a lot different by the end of this weekend.

Alek Manoah (2-8) takes the mound against James Paxton (6-2) to open up the series Friday night. While Manaoh’s last few outings since being called back up to the majors have been decent, there’s still something left to be desired, as his velocity seems down a few ticks. Paxton has less innings pitched but more strikeouts than Manoah, and the way the Jays have been hitting leads me to think that they might drop the first game of the weekend.

The Jays must find their footing, because if they don’t, they could find themselves on the outside looking in come Monday.

Ben Holmes: Houston Astros Runline -1.5 (+120)

Best Odds: DraftKings

Even though the Yankees edged out a win over the Stros on Thursday night, Ben is sold on Houston bouncing back and steam rolling the Yanks Friday. Luis Severino (2-5) has been abysmal, losing 4 of his last 6 outings, posting an ERA of 8.27 and a WHIP over 2. Hunter Brown (7-7) takes the mound but as Ben says “It doesn’t matter.”

Moneyline currently shows Houston at -138 on PowerPlay, but we’re confident in the runline.

Ben Holmes: Seattle Mariners Moneyline (+105)

Best Odds: theScore Bet

A team that should have been selling as opposed to buying at the deadline, the Angels host the Seattle Mariners this weekend in another pivotal matchup that can move each team in different directions. Both squads on the outside looking in, the Mariners have a game and a half on the Halos for the last spot in the wild card, currently held by the Jays. While the Mariners almost looked like sellers at the deadline, they managed to hold onto Teoscar Hernandez and promote set-up reliever Andrés Muñoz after dealing closer Paul Seawald to the Diamondbacks.

While the Mariners trajectory seems to be trending in the right direction, the decision for the Angels to buy at the deadline took teams a little by shock. After acquiring starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and bats like Cron and Grichuk, the Angels seem to be all-in on a playoff push in an effort to show Shohei that they mean business. 

Whether or not that was the right decision to make at the deadline, Seattle sends ace Luis Castillo (7-7) to the mound against Reid Detmers (2-8). The pitching matchup is definitely in the M’s favor, so as long as their bats can provide run support, Ben’s moneyline pick seems to be a great value pick.

Be sure to catch the full episode for breakdowns, analysis and exclusive offers through our partners.

Josh Elijah

Touring stand-up comic with Yuk Yuk’s. Host of the ‘Down By Two’ Podcast and ‘DB2 Bets.’ Take him on the over.

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