Toronto Blue Jays vs Washington Nationals: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 17, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Where to watch: YouTube

Season-to-date
Blue Jays: 63-54 (4th place, AL East)
Nationals: 50-68 (Last place, NL East)

Recent form
Blue Jays: 3-3 in last six
Nationals: Lost seven straight

Projected lineup


Blue Jays:
George Springer (R) CF
Marcus Semien (R) 2B
Bo Bichette (R) SS
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Alejandro Kirk (R) C
Santiago Espinal (R) 3B
Alek Manoah (R) P

Nationals:
Victor Robles (R) CF
Lane Thomas (R) LF
Juan Soto (L) RF
Josh Bell (S) 1B
Carter Kieboom (R) 3B
Riley Adams (R) C
Luis Garcia (L) SS
Adrian Sanchez (R) 2B
Erick Fedde (R) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Blue Jays -180, Nationals +155
BetMGM: Blue Jays -190, Nationals +155
PointsBet: Blue Jays -185, Nationals +155 

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Blue Jays - Nationals preview


The Toronto Blue Jays will make a cross-country trip for a two-game series against the Washington Nationals, the first game starting Tuesday night at Nationals Park.

Toronto snapped its three-game losing streak Sunday with an 8-3 victory against the Seattle Mariners. Seattle got the last laugh by taking two of three in the series, but the Blue Jays got 5 IP and zero unearned runs from starter Steven Matz in the win.

Four home runs were belted by the Blue Jays on Sunday, notably from Teoscar Hernandez (20) and Marcus Semien (27). Alejandro Kirk and Randal Grichuk (who also homered Sunday) led with two RBI each.

Toronto will send 23-year-old right-hander Alek Manoah to the mound Tuesday for this matchup. The rookie has won his last three starts, giving up four earned runs (2.09 ERA) over 17.2 innings.

The day off Monday could help Toronto, who have split 3-3 in its past six games and won six of their previous eight. Following the short stay in the Nation’s Capital, the Blue Jays will play their next seven at home.

That could help in the standings department. Due to the Blue Jays’ recent slide, they trail the Boston Red Sox by 4.5 games for the second wild card. The New York Yankees gained a two-game cushion on Toronto after taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox.

Toronto is 7.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first place.

Rebuild pains have been felt in Washington, with the Nationals coming in on a seven-game losing streak thanks to sweeps from the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves in the last week.

The Nats are coming off the most respectable showing of their three-game series against the Braves, losing 6-5 in what was an off day for both starting pitchers. Paolo Espino went only four innings and gave up five earned runs with only three strikeouts.

A far cry from a time that once housed Max Scherzer. He’s only 3-0 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, now after a 14-4 win on Sunday, since being traded in July..

Erick Fedde will be on the bump for the Nationals. The former first-round pick from UNLV still has not materialized to the ace they hoped he’d be. Fedde is 4-8 with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

Betting trends


The Blue Jays have won eight of their last 11 meetings with the Nationals, being on a four-game winning streak in Washington

The over is on a 4-0 run in the last four Toronto games when the total is set between 9.0 - 10.5.

Intriguing moneyline stats: Washington has won its last five interleague games against teams with a winning record.

Prediction


We feel the pitching matchup favors Toronto here. Asking Fedde to neutralize the Toronto bats might be too much of an ask. Blue Jays win 8-1.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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