Padres vs Blue Jays Preview & Free Pick [July 18th 2023]

San Diego (44-50) at Toronto (53-41)
When: Tuesday, July 17th 2023
Where: Rogers Centre,
Toronto, Ontario

Time: 7:07 ET | TV:
Opening Odds: San Diego -110/9

Two teams heading in opposite directions with the trade deadline looming, will begin a three-game series in Toronto, as the Blue Jays host the struggling San Diego Padres. Toronto just came off playing another NL West team and swept the Arizona Diamondbacks, outscoring them 19-9. The D’backs had been tied for the division lead entering the weekend, but the Jays cooled them off. It was Toronto’s eighth win in nine games since July 4 and the team now sits six games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and firmly in second place in the AL wild card race.

Meanwhile, San Diego is eight games behind the third and final NL wild card spot after losing three of four to the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. Right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (right ankle) was injured in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Phillies, but came on to pinch-hit and stay in the game on Sunday. The Padres eventually lost 7-6 in 12 innings to fall to 5-16 in one-run games and 0-9 in extra innings. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts homered Sunday, giving him three for the month after hitting just two total in May and June.

The teams have not met since the 2019 season when San Diego took two of three in Toronto in high-scoring games. The Over is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings including each of the last five. The Blue Jays, who will go with Alek Manoah on the mound are slight -110 favorites with a total of 9. The Padres will counter with the red-hot Joe Musgrove.

Pitchers: Padres – Joe Musgrove (8-2, 3.29) | Blue Jays – Alek Manoah (2-7, 5.91)

Musgrove got a late start to the season because of injury and struggled out of the gate. However, since late May, Musgrove is 7-0 with a 1.79 ERA in his last nine starts, allowing one run or fewer six times during the stretch. He defeated the New York Mets in his final start before the All-Star break, giving up three hits over six scoreless innings. Musgrove is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in three career appearances (one start) against Toronto.

Manoah, who was awful before being sent down to the minors, didn’t fare too well there as well. He gave up 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings on June 27. The Blue Jays called him back up to start on July 7 against the Tigers and he responded by giving up one run, five hits and no walks for his first victory since April 5. It was Manoah’s first major league outing since June 5, when he gave up six runs and recorded just one out against the Astros. This will be his first start against the Padres.

Despite the Padres struggling and the Jays on a roll, I’m backing Musgrove here. He’s been one of the best pitchers over the last couple of months and I’m not taking anything from Manoah’s outing against a poor Detroit team. Manoah is 0-4 with an 8.68 ERA at home. Look for the Padres to score some runs.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free MLB Picks page for today.

Pick: Padres -110