Blue Jays open series vs. Phillies as home favourites

Ben Nicholson-Smith discusses where the Toronto Blue Jays stand with their schedule and the amount of injuries they have had to face.

The Toronto Blue Jays will be looking to extend their stretch of early-season success in interleague play when they kick off a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night as -135 home favourites on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto returns to Dunedin after completing a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a decisive 8-4 win on Thursday afternoon, which marked the club’s sixth win in eight contests going into Friday night’s matchup at TD Ballpark.

The Blue Jays have now swept the Braves in a pair of three-game sets this season, and sport an 8-1 record in their past nine meetings with National League opponents. The club has also enjoyed historical success when battling Philadelphia in interleague play. Overall, Toronto has claimed victory in 20 of 28 meetings with the Phillies since July 2011, going 13-4 in 17 home dates over that stretch, according to the OddsShark MLB Database.

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However, they have work to do to overcome their shaky performance against the Phillies while falling to defeat in three of four meetings late last season.

Despite those recent woes, there is plenty of reason for Blue Jays fans to feel good about the club’s fortunes entering the weekend. Toronto outscored the Braves by a wide 17-8 overall margin during this week’s sweep, and scored eight or more runs on four occasions over the final eight games of its recent road trip. That steady production has contributed to an increasingly reliable run for the OVER, which is 11-4 over the Blue Jays’ past 15 outings.

The Blue Jays’ success on their recent road trip has also lifted them to within striking distance of first place in the AL East standings. However, the club’s continued steady play has yet to be reflected on the MLB futures at online betting sites, where Toronto remains off the pace as a +475 wager to claim the division, and as a lengthy +2000 bet on the World Series odds.

While the Blue Jays surge, the Phillies will try to rebound as they look to Friday night’s matchup as +115 road underdogs. Philadelphia is coming off a 5-1 loss in Washington on Thursday afternoon, marking their third defeat in five outings, all on the road.

The Phillies remains in the heat of a tight NL East division race, sitting just 1.5 games back of the first-place New York Mets. However, Philadelphia has been a consistent disappointment on the road in 2021, going 7-12 so far this season, with their lone road series win coming in this week’s three-game set against the Nationals.

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