The Philadephia Phillies (46-41, 22-20 away) are north of the border to take on the Toronto Blue Jays (45-42, 25-18 home) in a rare two-game interleague series between the two franchises. Just an eight-and-half-hour car ride separates the two cities, but these two opponents will face each other just four times this season.
The first pitch of Tuesday’s contest is at 7:10 p.m. EST inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
What to Know – Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia hopes to snap a two-game losing streak but will have to do it without a handful of players not able to travel to Canada due to vaccination status. The Phillies sit eight games back of the New York Mets in the National League East division as they close out of the final week of the first half.
On the hill for the visitors is expected to be right-hander Andrew Bellatti (1-3, 3.14 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). The 30-year-old right-hander will serve as the team’s opener, having thrown no more than one inning in an appearance this season. Bellatti has 28.2 innings pitched under his belt, allowing ten earned runs on 23 hits and 12 walks with 41 strikeouts.
Bryce Harper remains sidelined, and hitters JT Realmuto and Alec Bohm will miss the series due to being unvaccinated, leaving the Phillies lineup depleted.
The hard-hitting Kyle Schwarber, who leads the team with 28 home runs and 57 runs batted in, will need to step up for the visitors. Nick Castellanos and Rhys Hoskins will also be in the order, giving Philadelphia the power it needs at the top of the lineup to compete.
The Phillies are 12th in the MLB with a .247 team batting average, scoring 4.7 runs per game. Philadelphia’s pitching staff ranks tenth in the big leagues sporting a 3.75 team earned run average.
What to Know – Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays’ slide at the end of the first half was unexpected, as Toronto has dropped nine of their last ten contests. The defeats have dropped the Blue Jays to fourth in the American League East division, 16.5 games behind the New York Yankees.
The probable starter for the hosts is righty Jose Berrios (6-4, 5.44 ERA, 1.39 WHIP). Berrios attempts to keep his strong pitching going after surrendering only three earned runs over 11.0 innings in his last two starts. The 28-year-old has fired 89.1 innings, allowed 54 earned runs, 101 hits, 23 walks, and struck out 73 batters.
The 23-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. paces the Blue Jays’ offense with 19 home runs and 54 RBIs. George Springer Jr. has added 17 home runs and 50 runs scored, while Bo Bichette is right behind Vlady Jr. with 48 RBIs.
Toronto is second in the AL and third in the majors hitting .257 as a team while averaging 4.6 runs per contest. The pitching staff for the Blue Jays has a 4.10 team ERA, good enough for 21st in the league.
The Pick is In
A bullpen day for the Phillies mixed with missing key hitters from the lineup is a good receipt for the Blue Jays to get things back on track. Berrios has pitched well on the mound this month, and he continues that dominance Tuesday night at home against an inferior lineup.
The Pick: Toronto Blue Jays