The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins latch horns for a four-game series beginning on Monday at Target Field. Toronto enter with a record of 5-11 after dropping two of three games against the Rays at home. Their lone win came on Saturday behind a dominant performance by Clay Buchholz. He is kind of alone on this Blue Jays roster as a veteran. The Blue Jays acquired Buchholz in the offseason, which was sort of a head scratcher considering the direction they want to go in.
It might make some sense if they want to use him as trade bait, though. Buchholz is a veteran who is going to have no future plans of being in Toronto for when they’re expected to be a contending team again. He’s already 34 years old, so why not get some prospects for him at the deadline if he is pitching well then.
There may be a sleeper in their pitching staff that they might entertain dealing as well. Veteran Matt Shoemaker has gotten off to a red-hot start, as he looks to get his career back on track in Toronto. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career significantly in Anaheim with the Angels. He was expected to develop into an ace for the Angels, and at times, he did play the part when he was healthy.
The most notable injury of his career was a 105 mph line drive to his head, which caused a skull fracture and a hematoma to his head. That wiped out his 2016 and then he only made 14 starts in 2017 and 7 last season after a forearm injury.
The Angels ultimately lost their patience and now he’s in Toronto with the Blue Jays, where he’s done nothing but dish out three outstanding starts with a record of 3-0. He looks to make it a fourth in Minnesota against the Twins on Monday. The Twins enter at 8-4 after two wins against the Tigers over the weekend. Lefty and former Texas Ranger, Martin Perez, will get the nod for the Twins. Head below for our free Blue Jays vs. Twins pick.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
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The Blue Jays have five wins this season and three of them were on the arm of Matt Shoemaker. For a guy looking to bring his career back to life, it doesn’t get much better than what he did against the Tigers, Orioles, and Red Sox. The Red Sox were the only team to score a run on him in his most recent outing.
He allowed 2 earned runs across 5.2 innings of work. Shoemaker hadn’t allowed a long ball up until that game, where he gave up 2 solo shots. He and his team were still able to get the win, as they defeated the Red Sox by a score of 7-5. In his two starts before that game, he allowed just 2 hits in each with no runs surrendered.
Shoemaker finished up the season in 2018 healthy and made a couple of nice starts to close out the year. He was dominant against the Rangers and Athletics in September leading into the offseason, so he has been pitching well since then. The 32-year-old has done relatively well against the Twins in his career, as they’re hitting .253 against him in 87 at-bats.
If he can show that he’s healthy, the Jays may have another valuable trade piece to work with at the deadline. They’re still in a rebuilding phase, so retaining the rights of him when he is scheduled to go into arbitration next season doesn’t make the most sense. He will undoubtably want to negotiate for more money if he is productive and shows he’s healthy. Shoemaker will take on veteran Martin Perez this evening. Perez has appeared in three games this season, all out of the bullpen, so this will be his first showing as a starter in 2019.
Perez spent the first seven years of his career in Texas with the Rangers. He peaked in his sophomore year with a 3.62 ERA. His ERA hasn’t seen under 4.00 since then in 2013. The last year in Texas resulted in a 6.22 ERA in 22 appearances. It hasn’t been a great start for him in Minnesota, as he enters tonight with an ERA of 7.56 and a whopping 2.40 WHIP.
Opposing hitters have a .444 OBP against him in 8.1 innings. Toronto have their issues offensively, but apparently not against Perez. They’re hitting .393 with a .486 OBP against him in 28 at-bats. So, it would be difficult to want to lay juice on Perez here. Give me the underdog and the visitors on Monday at Target Field.