Toronto Blue Jays vs Washington Nationals: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 18, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Where to watch: SNET, MASN, MLB Network

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

Recent form (entering Tuesday)
Blue Jays: Lost three of four
Nationals: Lost seven straight

Projected lineup


Blue Jays:
Marcus Semien (R) 2B
Bo Bichette (R) SS
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Randal Grichuk (R) CF
Santiago Espinal (R) 3B
Reese McGuire (L) C
Jose Berrios (R) P

Nationals:
Victor Robles (R) CF
Alcides Escobar (R) SS
Juan Soto (L) RF
Josh Bell (S) 1B
Yadiel Hernandez (L) LF
Carter Kieboom (R) 3B
Luis Garcia (L) 2B
Riley Adams (R) C
Josiah Gray (R) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Blue Jays -180, Nationals +155
BetMGM: Blue Jays -185, Nationals +150
FanDuel: Blue Jays -178, Nationals +150

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Blue Jays - Nationals preview


The Toronto Blue Jays will have to wrap up their short two-game series with the Washington Nationals without leadoff man George Springer at Nationals Park on Wednesday.

Springer, Toronto’s big free agent acquisition, has landed back on the injured list due to a left knee injury. The former World Series MVP missed the better part of the first two months of the season with a quad injury.

When the Blue Jays returned to Toronto after playing the last year and a half in Buffalo, so did Springer’s pop. He had a .323 batting average to go with seven home runs and 18 RBI.

It’s back to square one for Toronto, as are the Blue Jays’ struggling ways on the road. Entering Tuesday, they’re 3-4 during their nine-game road trip. They’ll return to Toronto for seven straight against the Detroit Tigers (3) and the Chicago White Sox (4).

The Blue Jays will send Jose Berrios to the mound. The right-hander will try to improve off the outing from rookie right-hander Alek Manoah on Tuesday night; the youngster lasted only three innings and allowed six earned runs on seven hits. The 23-year-old’s ERA leaped from 2.59 to 3.34.

Toronto, as of Tuesday, remains four games out of a wild card spot.

Washington, at time of publishing, is closing in on snapping that seven-game losing streak that dated back to Aug. 8. Yadiel Hernandez continued his strong offensive season that included a solo home run in the second inning.

Despite a struggling season on the mound, the Nationals got five solid innings of work from Erick Fedde on Tuesday, allowing only three unearned runs. The team occupying last place in the National League East hasn’t had the bats going lately, but they were slugging well enough Tuesday.

Betting trends


The Blue Jays brought Berrios on to be a difference maker for a playoff push, but the arrow has trended downward whether it be the Twins or Toronto in the second half of the season. Teams are 2-6 when Berrios starts in the second half of the season.

Prediction


It’s going to take a few days to see if Springer’s absence will really play a part in the Blue Jays’ struggles. That being said, if Toronto doesn’t bounce back to win, the lack of momentum coming back home will be felt heavily. Blue Jays win 7-4.

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

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