In their series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Toronto Blue Jays will have to deal with the unpredictability of a bullpen game.
The pregame narrative: A pair of Philadelphia starters were put on the COVID restricted list prior to the team’s departure for Toronto, necessitating the Phillies’ second bullpen game in three days. The reeling Blue Jays counter with Jose Berrios.
Check out our Phillies vs. Blue Jays prop picks for July 12.
Rays vs. Blue Jays prop picks overview
- George Springer + Teoscar Hernandez over 0.5 hits apiece (+110)
- Nick Castellanos over 1.5 bases (+110)
- Kyle Schwarber to hit a home run (+275)
Rays vs. Blue Jays prop picks
Best bet: Springer + Hernandez over 0.5 hits apiece (+110)
We cannot tap into particular pitcher/hitter matchups here because we don’t know which pitchers the Phillies will deploy, or for how long. But at plus money, we can back two of Toronto’s top hitters in a tandem wager.
In George Springer, bettors will always enjoy the spoils of a leadoff man that gets as many plate appearances as anyone in the lineup.
Springer is a .250 hitter this season and a .200 hitter over the past two weeks, which isn’t great. But with seven walks in that span, his eye in the box has been respectable. And his .167 BABIP cannot stick around.
Hernandez is on the other end of the luck spectrum, with a .419 BABIP over the past two weeks. But he’s come by it fairly honestly, with a .294 expected batting average underscoring his .306 BA, and a fiery 61% hard-hit rate in that span.
Asking these two sluggers to collect one hit apiece is a reasonable ask, even against a bullpen that’s posted the fourth-best ERA in the majors (1.79) since June 28. And maybe the Phillies relievers haven’t been as stellar as that ERA suggests.
In the same two-week span as its 1.79 ERA, the Philadelphia bullpen has a 3.78 FIP (12th) and a 4.04 xFIP (17th). Most importantly, perhaps, it’s skated by with a league-best .196 BABIP.
Key stat: MLB’s collective batting average is .242. The Phillies have allowed an opponent batting average of .251 since June 1.
Castellanos over 1.5 bases (+110): Our best bet on the Phillies’ side is Castellanos, who knows Berrios best among those in the road clubhouse. The outfielder is 6-for-16 (.375) with a home run in his career against the Toronto starter.
Castellanos will be on the hunt for a four-seamer, given that Berrios has one of the worst heaters in the league based on run value (plus-13 runs, per Baseball Savant). Last year, Castellanos had a plus-20 run value on four-seamers, so that’ll be his pitch to hit.
Schwarber to hit a HR (+275): We’re calling our shot with the NL’s home run leader. Schwarber (28 home runs) has the type of all-or-nothing stat lines lately that makes him perfect for this dart throw: he has five homers in his past seven games, despite going hitless in four of them.
Odds as of 2:41 p.m. ET on 07/12/22.
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