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GDB -24.0: Bowden Francis set to face toughest task as Toronto Blue Jays face Braves

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Photo credit:Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
27 days ago
Bowden Francis will face a big test this afternoon as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Atlanta Braves.
The swingman will be facing a stacked Braves squad, with the likes of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Marcel Ozuna and others in their lineup. Undoubtedly, this will be his biggest test this spring.
But so far, Francis has lived up the the bill. Among 63 qualified Spring Training pitchers, his 1.93 ERA ranks ninth, while his .93 WHIP sits 12th and his 2.87 FIP sits 15th. That’s some great company to be in.
The Jays will counter with a softer lineup this afternoon — even with Spring Training star Ernie Clement leading off. He’s been tremendous this spring, crushing three home runs, while slashing .361/.378/.667 with a 172 wRC+.
Some tough decisions are looming for the Jays in the following week, as Clement is all out of options. Has he done enough to show that he’s deserving of a bench spot over Santiago Espinal or Eduardo Escobar? That’s the exact question the club will be trying to determine this next week.

First pitch: 1:07 p.m. EST. TV: Sportsnet. Radio: MLB.com.
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR +152; ATL -189.
Spread: TOR -+1.5 -128; ATL -1.5 +105.
Over/Under: o9.5 +110; u9.5 -133.
*Odds available at the time of writing. Odds subject to change.

Starting pitchers:

TORONTO — RHP Bowden Francis
BRAVES -RHP Raisel Iglesias

Lineups:

TORONTO:
  1. E Clement (R) LF
  2. V Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
  3. D Varsho (L) CF
  4. D Vogelbach (L) DH
  5. D Schneider (R) 2B
  6. I Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
  7. E Escobar (S) 3B
  8. N Lukes (L) RF
  9. B Serven (R) C
 BRAVES:
  1. R Acuña Jr. (R) RF
  2. O Albies (S) 2B
  3. A Riley (R) 3B
  4. M Olson (L) 1B
  5. M Ozuna (R) DH
  6. M Harris II (L) CF
  7. S Murphy (R) C
  8. O Arcia (R) SS
  9. J Kelenic (L) LF

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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