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Toronto Blue Jays at Washington Nationals Betting Preview – 8/17

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Game: Toronto Blue Jays at Washington Nationals

Time: 7:05 p.m. ET

Starting Pitchers: Alek Manoah vs. Erick Fedde

Odds: Mariners -195, Nationals +190

After an off day for both teams, Toronto heads to the nation’s capital to take on an ailing Washington. The Nationals have struggled, to say the least, in August after having traded away most of their best players. Through 14 games this month, Washington has won just twice. The Nationals last victory was over a week ago as they have lost seven straight.

With the day off, the Nats had plenty to think about, like how to beat Toronto. The Blue Jays have one of the most powerful and high-scoring lineups in baseball. Heading into this series, Toronto leads the majors in home runs with 178 and in OPS (.786). Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is still second in MLB with 35 homers.

The Blue Jays will go up against Washington right-hander Erick Fedde who is 4-8 on the season with a 5.12 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting a strong .261 against Fedde and he hasn’t lasted more than 4.2 innings in his last two starts. That’s not good news for the Nationals. Over the last 15 days, Washington’s bullpen has an ERA of 6.15.

There is value on Toronto on the money line if bettors are able to find the Blue Jays under -200. A better play might be on the run line where bettors can get the Jays at -1.5 (-130). With Alek Manoah getting the start for Toronto, don’t expect the Nationals to score a lot.

Manoah is enjoying an excellent rookie season. He is 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA thus far in 11 starts for the Blue Jays. He holds opposing hitters to a .181 batting average which is one of the reasons why Toronto has won four of his last five starts and eight of eleven overall. Manoah will pitch against a Washington lineup that hasn’t done well since the trade deadline at the end of July. The Nats rank 24th in OPS (.678) over the last 15 days.

Totals bettors should take a long look at the Under. With the game total set at 9.5, it’s worth noting that the Under has hit 59 percent of the time at Nationals Park. That number goes up to 62 percent when the total is 9 or above.

On top of a struggling Washington offense, remember Manoah’s dominance. In 59 innings so far this season, the 6-foot-6-inch Manoah has struck out 71 batters. He doesn’t allow many baserunners, which is why his ERA continues to remain below 3.00.

As powerful as the Blue Jays lineup is, their performance does drop when they play on the road. Their team batting average falls from .275 to .256 and their OPS drops from .830 to .745 away from home. With both bullpens rested, a play on the Under is worth consideration.