Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Philadelphia Phillies
Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
Odds: Blue Jays -125, +105
The Philadelphia Phillies recently seemed certain to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. As the Phillies prepare for the start of a two-game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, there is suddenly real anxiety for their chances of making the postseason.
Philadelphia (80-66) is now in the third wild-card slot in the National League after losing four straight games and being swept by the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. As of the start of play on Monday, Philadelphia still leads the Milwaukee Brewers by two games for that third and final NL wild card.
After suffering an injured right hand on Sunday, Rhys Hoskins made his comeback to the lineup. Alec Bohm and J.T. Realmuto both blasted home runs, but Hoskins and former NL MVP Bryce Harper each went 0-for-4. The four-game losing streak has been largely characterized by offensive difficulties. On Sunday, the Phillies left seven men on base while going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Philadelphia scored three or fewer runs in all four games.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson will get the start for the Phillies (10-6, 4.45 ERA) tonight. In his most recent start on Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, Gibson pitched well, giving up just six hits and one run over six innings while striking out seven batters and walking none. Gibson has made 10 starts and is 5-1 with a 4.14 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays.
Despite a discouraging 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, the Blue Jays (83-64) will approach the series with great momentum. The Orioles scored three times in the ninth inning, as Toronto right-hander Jordan Romano failed to capitalize on the save opportunity. The Blue Jays won two out of the three games against the Orioles. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of Toronto hit his 29th home run of the year.
The Blue Jays have been strong as of late, going 13-5 so far in September. That has resulted in the Blue Jays owning the American League’s top wild card spot right now. Because they now own that spot, they are a little bit more assured of making the playoffs than the Phillies are.
For Toronto, Ross Stripling (8-4, 2.94 ERA) will start the game tonight. In his most recent start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, Stripling allowed three hits and one run over 6 1/3 innings. In nine career appearances (six starts), Stripling is 2-0 with a 4.08 ERA versus the Phillies.
In addition to winning 13 of their last 18 games, the Blue Jays are 5-1 SU in their last six games against Philadelphia. Toronto is also 13-4 SU in its last 17 games on the road in Philadelphia and the Blue Jays have excelled on the road recently. They are 11-2 SU in their last 13 games away from home. The Phillies have won 11 of their last 13 home games.
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