After splitting the first two games of this interleague showdown, the Toronto Blue Jays (56-46) and Los Angeles Dodgers (58-42) will both be looking for a series win in the rubber match on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch of the series finale is set for 4:10 p.m. ET from Dodger Stadium. Lefty Yusei Kikuchi (7-3, 3.92 ERA) will get the ball for Toronto, while L.A. counters with Tony Gonsolin (5-3, 3.94).
After getting hot prior to the All-Star break, the Jays continue to alternate wins and losses, going 5-5 in their last 10 games and falling to just a game up on the Boston Red Sox for the final AL Wild Card spot. Toronto will wrap up their West Coast swing on Wednesday before heading home to start a weekend set with the Los Angeles Angels.
With their wild eighth-inning rally last night, L.A. is now five games up on both the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West. They’ll continue their homestand this weekend with a big three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers enter as -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Blue Jays at +110. The run total is set at 10.
Blue Jays-Dodgers picks: Wednesday, July 26
Out: SP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder), OF Jake Marisnick (hamstring), OF Jonny Deluca (hamstring)
Yusei Kikuchi vs. Tony Gonsolin
Kikuchi was dynamite last time out, blanking the Seattle Mariners while allowing just five hits and striking out eight over 5.1 innings of work. The lefty has introduced a new curveball into his arsenal of late, throwing it some 16.4% of the time, and it’s paid dividends immediately as a change of pace from his fastball and slider. Kikuchi has long struggled for consistency and command, but he’s been largely reliable for Toronto this season, allowing two or fewer runs in eight of his last 10 starts.
Gonsolin is trending in the opposite direction, having allowed at least four earned runs in five of his last six starts (ERA over that span: 6.97). The righty hardly strikes anyone out, relying instead on balls in play getting turned into outs, but he’s caught too much of the plate in recent outings and given up a lot of loud contact as a result.
After totals of nine and 15 in the first two games of this series, I’m backing the under in the finale. The Dodgers have been a bit more pedestrian against left-handed pitching this season — there’s a reason they just acquired the right-hitting Enrique Hernandez — and Kikuchi’s recent form makes me think that he could be surprisingly successful this afternoon. Gonsolin’s trendline is more worrisome, but with a number this high I think he does enough to keep us under.
Pick: Under 10
Toronto has the pretty clear advantage on the mound today, and I’ll always take that with plus odds. The Jays have also woken up a bit at the plate recently (seventh in team wRC+ since the start of July) and I think they’ll get to Gonsolin early and Kikuchi will make the lead stand up.
Pick: Blue Jays