Blue Jays vs. Nationals MLB Best Bet: Lots of Fireworks in DC

profile image of LTProfits
Luis García Jr. #2 of the Washington Nationals hits a three-run home run in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Nationals Park on May 03, 2024. Greg Fiume/Getty Images/AFP

Editor’s Note: The game is currently in a weather delay. It has been rescheduled to begin at 03:00 PM ET, as per MLB.

We have a typical schedule of 15 Major League Baseball betting matchups on Sunday, with 14 afternoon games plus Sunday Night Baseball.

And we are back with our three plays for Sunday that we feel hold the most betting value at the current MLB odds offered by the top-rated sportsbooks. Our action begins early at 1:35 pm ET, as our proprietary model likes a total in the Blue Jays vs. Nationals matchup.

For our other best bets check out:

MLB Best Bet: Over 8 (-105) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

Bovada logo
Over 8 (-105)
Visit Site

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Washington Nationals

Sunday, May 05, 2024 – 03:00 PM ET at Nationals Park

We foresee enough fireworks for an Over in our nation’s capital on Sunday, with Alek Manoah making his season debut for the Blue Jays visiting MacKenzie Gore and the Nationals.

From All-Star to Minors

Manoah is coming off the injured list to make his first start of 2024, but dealing with an issue on his throwing shoulder after a dismal season does not sound ideal. Alek was a surprising All-Star in 2022, but that may have been a one-off considering he was so bad last season that he was demoted to the minors for a stretch. 

He finished 2023 at 3-9 at the Major League level with a 5.87 ERA and a matching 5.85 xFIP over 19 starts. He was extremely wild with a walk rate of 6.08/9 over 87.1 innings, and he was home run prone allowing 1.55/9. His fastball velocity was not very high at 92.9 MPH although, to be fair, his best pitch is his slider. 

But even there, the slider velocity was down to an alarming 80.9 MPH last year. That helped contribute to a very low 8.9% swinging-strike rate and an uptick in hard-contact rate to 36.9% from 23.7% in the 2022 All-Star year.

Jays Better vs. Lefties

Now, we actually like Gore, as his 3.19 ERA is legitimized by his 3.16 xFIP. And he has an excellent strikeout rate of 11.03/9. Just about his only negatives are a lucky 80.6% strand rate and a walk rate a bit on the high side at 2.61/9, although that is still an improvement from 3.76/9 last year.

But remember that we expect the Nationals to have offensive success against Manoah, so Gore may not need to allow many runs for this Over to cash. And the southpaw is facing a Toronto lineup with a noticeably higher wRC+ against left-handers (107) than against righties (93).

MLB Best Bet

So, with Manoah returning from an injury to his throwing shoulder after a terrible season and the Blue Jays better offensively against southpaws, so bet the Over in DC Sunday.

Predicted Score: Nationals 6 – Blue Jays 4

MLB Best Bet: Over 8 (-105) at Bovada

Bovada logo
Over 8 (-105)
Visit Site

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.