The Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays head out at the Rogers Centre for the second of their three-game series. The Twins are looking to snag some lofty goals in 2019, as they try to overtake the AL Central from the Cleveland Indians. So far it’s been the Twins who have looked like the better team and are out to a lead in the first leg of the regular season. Corey Kluber not pitching like an elite hurler and then getting injured hurts the Indians’ odds.
Going into this season, the expectations were that Kluber was going to be pitching like he usually does. Kluber isn’t going to need surgery on his broken arm, but he is out indefinitely to allow it to heal. What looked like one of the best rotations in baseball, suddenly looks beatable and leaving an opening for the Twins.
The Twins got better in the offseason, meanwhile I’m not so sure the Indians did. Edwin Encarnacion was shipped out to the Seattle Mariners, so that’s one power bat out of the lineup. Their offense was sluggish out of the gates without Francisco Lindor, and now they’re becoming too dependent on him.
The Twins are a well-rounded group from the pitching to the offense. Enough to win the division? Yeah. But it’s going to be difficult for them to hang with the best of the American League. They may have to initiate some moves at the trade deadline to get better if they want to do so. Jose Berrios who has been settling him to an ace role with the Twins will get the nod this evening, while Aaron Sanchez is expected to get the green light for the Blue Jays. Head below for our free Twins vs. Blue Jays pick.
Minnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick:
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Expectations were high for Jose Berrios as he headed into his fourth season. It’s been pretty good for Berrios thus far, as he enters tonight with an ERA of 2.91. He posted a 3.89 ERA in 2017 and an ERA of 3.84 in 2018, so he displayed what you want to see from a young pitcher. Show improvements and then put it all together in his prime years.
Berrios has allowed less than 3 runs in four of his previous five outings. In his seven starts this season, he’s given up 3 or less in six games. Along with his strong ERA, Berrios also carries a 0.97 WHIP and .257 OBA.
In his first go-around against some of the members of this lineup, Berrios was flawless in 15 at-bats. As a collective unit, the Jays hit just 0.67 with no walks yielded. Brandon Drury is the only Jay in the lineup to get a hit against Berrios. We should expect Berrios to produce another quality performance in this contest. The Blue Jays are 24th in the major leagues with 3.91 runs scored per game.
Conversely, Sanchez has been less than adequate against the Twins in his career. The Twins are hitting .287 with a .392 OBP with 4 long balls in 87 at-bats. Eddie Rosario has done a number on Sanchez, as he’s hitting .429 with a home run.
There are a lot of other hitters that have made it look easy against Sanchez, including Miguel Sano who is hitting .667, Mitch Garver at .667, Jorge Polanco is hitting .400, and Jonathan Schoop has the most history against Sanchez with a .327 batting average and .406 OBP in 28 at-bats. The Twins appear to have the edge in this one, which should translate into a win for them in Toronto on Tuesday.