Halladay Faces Blue Jays
Roy Halladay faces his former mates for the first time tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays head to Philadelphia to battle the Phillies.
The Blue Jays will actually be the home team in this series because it was supposed to be played in Toronto.
The three games were moved to Philly due to security concerns over the G8/G20 Summit being held in Toronto. AL rules will apply, so the DH will be used in the series. So instead of returning to Rogers Centre, Halladay (8-6, 2.43) gets the Jays at Citizens Bank Park.
Halladay has hit a rough patch lately and has lost his last three starts. Last time out against Minnesota he allowed four runs on 11 hits in eight innings.
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He hasn't enjoyed facing the American League this season with an 0-3 record and 7.03 ERA in three interleague starts. Getting start for Toronto tonight will be Jesse Litsch (0-1, 6.75).
After a rough debut to the season returning from arm surgery Litsch was lights out in his last start. He faced San Francisco and tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits. In two career starts against the Phillies he's 0-1 with a lofty 7.71 ERA. The Phillies are heavily favored at -240 tonight at Bovada with their ace on the mound.
I'll take a flyer on the Jays at +200 just in case they can take advantage of their knowledge of Halladay while he's kind of struggling.
The rest of the series sees Cole Hamels (6-5, 3.75) battle Shaun Marcum (6-3, 3.24) on Saturday and Jamie Moyer (8-6, 4.43) go up against Brett Cecil (7-4, 4.06) on Sunday. There's an interleague rivalry also on tap today in the Windy City, as the Cubs head to U.S. Cellular Field to face the White Sox. Earlier this month the Sox took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley.
Kicking off the series tonight will be Carlos Zambrano (3-5, 5.10) for the Cubs and Jake Peavy (6-5, 5.07) for the White Sox. Zambrano mowed down the Angels in his last start, earning the win after allowing one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. In 13 career appearances against the White Sox he is 5-3 with a 4.56 ERA.
Peavy may be finding his old Cy Young form again after dominating the Nationals in his last start. He pitched a complete-game shutout against Washington, allowing only three hits while striking out seven. He faced the Cubs earlier in the month and allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings in a win. He is 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA in nine starts with the Cubs, most with San Diego.
The White Sox are a -150 favorite in tonight's matchup. With Peavy coming around, and considering how much he's dominated the Cubs in his career, the Sox are my pick tonight.
The rest of the pitching matchups in this series include Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01) versus Freddy Garcia (8-3, 4.85) on Saturday, and Ryan Dempster (5-6, 3.65) versus John Danks (7-5, 3.23) on Sunday.