A huge American League series will go down this weekend as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Minnesota Twins in a big four-game set for AL playoff positioning. While the Twins sit precariously atop the Central division, the Blue Jays enter the weekend leading a dangerous pack of teams in a competitive wild-card race.
Though Toronto lost their last game to the Tampa Bay Rays, they’ll be pleased to have their ace Alek Manoah on the mound. The big right-hander has been excellent this season, and is firmly in contention for the AL Cy Young award. With his Jays having won 13 of their past 17 contests, both Manoah and this offense enters Minnesota riding a real wave of confidence.
* @Alek_Manoah6 voice*
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 23, 2022
The Twins meanwhile enter having made a ton of positive moves at the deadline. Most notably Minnesota bolstered their bullpen, an area in which Toronto could’ve further strengthened themselves. The Twins got Jorge Lopez, Baltimore’s closer, while also getting Michael Fulmer from Detroit. That duo should strengthen Minnesota’s late-inning pitching, though they should be in good shape Thursday with Sonny Gray on the mound.
A seven-pitch save for Jorge López in his #MNTwins debut.
Twins win 4-1.
Four scoreless from the Twins bullpen (five strikeouts) after Joe Ryan struck out nine in five innings.
Michael Fulmer also with a scoreless inning in his Twins debut.
— DanHayesMLB (@DanHayesMLB) August 3, 2022
PITCHING PROBABLES: Blue Jays: Alek Manoah (11-5, 2.43 ERA, .99 WHIP, 114 strikeouts); Twins: Sonny Gray (6-3, 3.41 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 69 strikeouts)
With both teams so tight in the American League standings, it should make this entire series have a playoff-esque feel to it. For added insight, the latest news, trends, and analysis, continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our breakdown and betting prediction for this hotly anticipated opening game between Manoah and Gray, with the Jays taking on the Twins. Enjoy the game, folks!
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Live Odds & Betting History
Betting odds provided by BOVADA
|RUN LINE||-1.5 (+145)||+1.5 (-165)|
|TOTAL||Over 8.5 (-110)||Under 8.5 (-110)|
|TEAM DATA||BLUE JAYS||TWINS|
|Runs Per Game||4.8||4.5|
|Runs Allowed Per Game||4.2||4.1|
|Team Batting Average||.263||.250|
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction:
It is exceptionally hard to fade Manoah, so why bother? He’s been outstanding of late, and enters Thursday night pitching to a 2.43 ERA, with a stellar 23% strikeout rate on the season. Manoah pitches his plus-pitches very well, and can also overpower hitters with some excellent velocity.
He’ll be taking on a Twins’ offense that has not been all that impressive of late. While Minnesota bolstered its pitching, their hitting enters this series sporting a 98 wRC+ rate over the past fortnight. For a playoff-bound team, they’ve been wildly average, and with their knack of getting so few baserunners, it’s hard to see Minnesota generating much offense vs. Manoah.
“Here we gooooo! There’s one!”
Mic’d up Alek Manoah gets the strikeout 🔥 pic.twitter.com/htqKlEFsCH
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 20, 2022
On the other end of things, this Toronto offense was quiet in Tampa Bay – though they’ve still been outstanding since the All-Star break. They’ve been getting on-base at an impressive clip, and have been hurting opposing pitchers with extreme power. A rejigged batting order has rejuvenated this batting lineup, and manager John Schneider continues to press all the right buttons. Sonny Gray will have a tough outing, but he’s put together a quality campaign to date. One area he struggles with has been his hard-hit rate, which is uncharacteristically high at the moment. This could play into the hands of the power bats of Toronto’s offense, and don’t be surprised to see this Jays’ lineup take advantage of the long-ball.
The Blue Jays offense has been going crazy since the All-Star break. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/FILdFy2DZn
— theScore (@theScore) July 27, 2022
Blue Jays vs. Twins Trends To Know:
- Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a loss.
- Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series.
- Blue Jays are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. American League Central.
- Blue Jays are 10-2 in their last 12 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Twins are 2-5 in their last 7 overall.
- Twins are 2-5 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.
- Twins are 1-7 in their last 8 Thursday games.
- Blue Jays are 31-15 in the last 46 meetings in Minnesota.
With recent trends and decisive advantages both within offensive and pitching matchups, it’s hard not to back Manoah on the Jays as short road favourites. Toronto has been scintillating since the All-Star break, and look for this talented roster to assert its dominance in the opening game of this pivotal four-game set.