Two of the best in baseball go at it again in game two of a three-game interleague set up north, as the Atlanta Braves face the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch from Rogers Centre is set for 3:07 p.m. ET. Rookie Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.74 ERA) will go for Atlanta, while the mercurial Jose Berrios (3-3, 4.91) looks to build off a strong start last time out for the Jays.
Toronto is currently a -120 favorite on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Braves are narrow +100 underdogs. The run total is set at 9.5.
Braves-Blue Jays picks: Saturday, May 13
Out: SP Max Fried (forearm), 3B Ehire Adrianza (elbow), SP Kyle Wright (shoulder), RP Lucas Luetge (biceps), SP Kolby Allard (oblique), RP Tyler Matzek (elbow), SP Huascar Ynoa (elbow)
Day to day: OF George Springer (illness)
Out: RP Zach Pop (hamstring), RP Adam Cimber (back), RP Mitch White (elbow), SP Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow), RP Chad Green (elbow)
Bryce Elder vs. Jose Berrios
Elder has gotten off to a dream start in his rookie year, but it appears to be something of a mirage. The righty’s expected ERA is nearly three runs higher than his actual number, and while some of that gap can be explained by how often the sinkerballer keeps the ball on the ground — exit velocity doesn’t matter as much if it’s hit directly at an infielder — he should still be due for some regression. His slider does appear to be a legit out pitch.
Berrios, meanwhile, is anyone’s guess. The righty has alternated between bad and brilliant this year, and after 6.1 innings of two-run ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out, we’re guessing he’s due for another implosion. His four-seam fastball has been the biggest culprit, with a .349 batting average and .512 slugging percentage allowed — when he manages to command it well and keep it away from the heart of the plate, it allows his slurve and changeup to have success.
Two meat-grinder lineups against pitchers that shouldn’t offer too much in the way of resistance? I’ll take the over. Berrios has allowed four or more runs three times already this year, and with a powerful Jays offense on the other side, that should be all that’s required to hit this number.
Pick: Over 9.5
I have a hard time trusting Elder, especially since we’ve never seen him navigate an elite offense in his short career. But Berrios looks awfully flammable against this Braves lineup, and when in doubt I’ll take the better odds.