The Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays close out a three-game series Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre
Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays
Philadelphia picked up a 5-3 victory Saturday afternoon and has now won five of its last six games. The Phillies will be searching for their first sweep of the Blue Jays in 12 series between the teams since the start of interleague action in 1997. The club is now 9-5 against American League opponents this year and clinched consecutive winning seasons in interleague play for the second time in franchise history. With the calendar turning to July, expect the National League East leaders to distance themselves in the standings, posting a 95-64 record during the month under the direction of manager Charlie Manuel. Philadelphia is 20-7 during daytime games this season.
Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee is 9-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 17 starts this season and has tallied three straight complete game victories. The left-hander picked up a 5-0 home shutout over the Red Sox last time out, giving up just two hits and striking out five. He finished a sensational June with a perfect 5-0 mark and 0.21 ERA, while not surrendering a single home run in 42 innings. Lee enters with a losing 2-4 record and 4.30 ERA in seven road outings. In nine previous starts versus the Blue Jays, he has posted a 2-4 mark and 3.81 ERA, including a 2-3 record and 3.81 ERA at the Rogers Centre.
Toronto will be playing this entire series under the sun and that has been a nightmare situation for the club all season long. The Blue Jays have posted a 10-23 daytime record this season, while going 74-83 over the last three years. Outfielder Jose Bautista tried his best to turn the tide Saturday, hitting his Major League-leading 26th home run and his fifth in 10 games. Toronto has dropped five of its last six home contests to Philadelphia dating back to 2006 and is 17-18 all-time against them. In 20 games against opposing left-handed starters, the squad has registered a solid 12-8 record.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes has lost his last two starts and comes into today’s interleague battle with a 3-7 record and 4.77 ERA in 16 starts. The left-hnader lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his last outing at home versus the Pirates, giving up six runs and nine hits. Reyes has struggled at home during the 2011 campaign, posting a 1-3 record and 5.19 ERA. In six lifetime starts versus the Phillies, he is a winless 0-3 with a 6.99 ERA, allowing them to hit for a .304 average.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Phillies due to their 22-8 mark in Lee’s last 30 starts as a favorite, while the Blue Jays are 1-4 in Reyes last five home outings