With the Texas Rangers’ brawl in the rear-view mirror, the Blue Jays have to start focusing hard on baseball now. They are sitting at mediocracy right now, hovering around the .500 mark as they try and turn a corner to the next level. The Jays put a beating on the Twins in the opener to this series, a 8-3 thrashing with the offense putting a solid effort in motion. Saturday’s matchup is pending, as I don’t have a final score on that one yet. Phil Hughes will take Sunday duties, as he tries and duplicate his start against the Tigers. Hughes took a no-decision against them, but it wasn’t his fault they ended up getting trounced. Hughes allowed only 1 run across 6 innings pitched, as soon as he was yanked from the mound, the doors came off. The Tigers scored 7 runs in the seventh inning and it appeared that Hughes had yet another abysmal start. Hughes is trying to keep his career afloat and hopes to get a motivational booster from the Tigers.
There isn’t any time to relax, as he has the Blue Jays on the menu on Sunday. The Twins don’t foresee some kind of breakthrough to enter into a race in the AL Central, at this point, it’s a matter of respectability. Right now, with a record of 10-30, you cannot say that the Twins are in a position of respectability. I think they’ll come on a bit, but nothing to take seriously and look primed to finish with the worst record in the majors. The days of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in their prime are over for the Twins. Morneau is in Colorado and Mauer is in the twilight of his career, not a bad career by any accord, but his talents were not to the fullest extent with a contender. Nevertheless, Mauer’s contributions will be remembered in Minnesota for a long time. Get my MLB pick for Sunday here at The Sports Geek.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins
Marcus Stroman (4-1, 4.23 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (1-6, 5.70 ERA)
Stroman has done well this season, but he was reamed hard in his last start. It skewed his numbers up in a big way. Stroman went from a 3.54 ERA to a 4.23 in just one start. It’s understandable if you look at what he did against the Rays, getting blasted for 7 runs in 5.2 innings pitched. That isn’t the Stroman we all know, the guy expected to take over as an ace and the future of this ball club in Toronto. He will look to bounce back against one of the worst offenses in baseball today. The pitching and bullpen has been among the worst as well.
Do we expect two solid starts for Hughes in a row? Hughes has pitched for a 4.69 ERA against the Jays over 23 starts, that could be better. He’s also gotten bopped at home pretty good in 2016, posting a 6.33 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in Minnesota. I would have to say that Stroman comes back strong, while Hughes regresses back after his start against the Tigers. That has to be a demoralizing feeling for him and the team, allowing only 1 run against the Tigers and you still lose 7-2. That leads to team frustration, and it’s clear, this is a frustrated team just going through the motions. The Blue Jays should wack the Twins on Sunday behind Stroman. I like them to win by 2 or more runs.
PICK: BLUE JAYS -1.5