The Toronto Blue Jays (36-34) and Miami Marlins (33-37) will continue a three-game interleague on Saturday afternoon at Marlins Park in Miami, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 ET

Toronto Blue Jays at Miami Marlins

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has 23 home runs during the 2012 MLB season

Toronto had everything going offensively in a 12-5 series-opening win over Miami on Friday night, including outfielder Jose Bautista launching his 23rd home run of the 2012 MLB campaign.  “They feel like they’re going to walk into the ballpark, whether it’s at home or on the road, and put up a good offensive night,” stated Blue Jays manager John Farrell.  Offensively, the club has produced 46 runs over its past seven games, while leadoff batter Brett Lawrie is hitting .328 over his last 16 games.  Toronto is 9-10 in June.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Brett Cecil (1-0, 3.60 ERA) earned a 6-2 home win over the Philadelphia Phillies in his first start of the Year on June 17, allowing two runs and five hits over five frames.  The left-hander suffered through a disappointing 2011 campaign, posting a 4-11 record and 4.73 ERA, including a 3-4 mark and 4.04 ERA in 10 road outings.  Cecil will be facing the Marlins for the first time in his career.

Miami has dropped 14 of its last 16 games, which includes a dismal 4-12 mark against American League opponents.  “Nothing is there now,” commented Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.  The Marlins have been outscored by a 113-41 margin over its last 16 games, with the pitching staff compiling an MLB-worst 6.89 ERA.  It’s still important to note that the club is 17-5 in this series, including a 7-3 mark when playing at home.  Miami is 11-12 versus left-handed starters, with the “over” going 16-7 in those contests.

Marlins starting pitcher Josh Johnson (4-5, 4.18 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last four starts, coming off a 3-0 road loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, surrendering two runs and eight hits over six frames.  The right-hander has compiled an even 3-3 record and 3.71 ERA in eight home starts, allowing just two home runs in 51 combined frames.  In two career starts versus the Blue Jays, Johnson has gone 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA, issuing nine walks and collecting 11 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.

Bettors will likely back the Marlins due to their 8-1 record in Johnson’s last nine home starts as a favorite of -110 to -150, while the Blue Jays are 0-4 in Cecil’s last four efforts as a road underdog.

Pick:  Miami Marlins -150

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