The Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays play the 2nd of their early week set. This game is scheduled for a 7:05 ET first pitch.
The Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays play the 2nd of their early week set. This game is scheduled for a 7:05 ET first pitch. Yesterday afternoon, behind the Blue Jay’s newest acquisition, David Price, Toronto recorded a 5-1 victory over Minnesota to open the series. That win pulled the Blue Jays even with the Twins in their current battle for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Tonight, based on the current form of these teams, the home/road dichotomy of the teams and pitchers, and the run line numbers, I expect another resounding victory by the Blue Jays.
Since June 1st, when I authored the first BUY and SELL ratings of MLB teams based on their pitching and batting OPS numbers, there has been a consistent SELL rating on Minnesota. This has been a losing franchise for years. But in late April and May, the stars aligned for the Twins with many improbable victories and a winning run against losing teams. The result was a 26-12 streak which left them at 32-22 for the season. That was way overachieving, considering their bottom 3rd OPS numbers in both pitching and hitting. As we view the current numbers today, the Twins .741 pitching OPS is 24th in the league, while the Minnesota 700 batting OPS is 19th in the league. True to OPS form, Minnesota has gone 22-29 since June 1st, including 4-11 recently. For the year, Minnesota is just 20-29 away, including 1-5 recently in which they have totaled only 9 runs.
A quick review of the numbers for tonight’s starter, Hughes, tells a dichotomous story. He is 10-6 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. In his last 8 starts, Hughes is 6-0. But, that comes mostly as a function of Minnesota run support which is at 7.3 RPG. On the road, Minnesota has won just 3 of 9 Hughes’ starts in which he has a mediocre 1.38 road WHIP. Blue Jay bats will not fear Hughes, who has a 4.69 ERA in 29 appearances against the Jays.
The Blue Jays have come to life. They continue to have the best hitting in the league with a .775 OPS, including 5.6 RPG and 139 HRs. The addition of an ace, David Price, the winner of Monday’s game, may be just enough to get Toronto into the playoffs. The Blue Jays have been a streaky team on current runs of 17-5, then 10-16 and now 5-1. In that 6-game stretch, the Jays have averaged 6 RPG with 10 HRs and a .302 BA. Their 33-21 home record is far dichotomous to that of Minnesota. Tonight’s starter, Estrada, has an 8-game run in which he has a 2.66 ERA. He has also been hot at home, where he has gone 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA his last 5. Even more impressive is a 1.03 PLAY ON home WHIP in his 8 home starts. Run line players take note, 44 of 55 Toronto victories (80%) have come by 2 or more runs this season.
With the current form of these teams, the home road dichotomy and the superior pitcher, at this site on the mound, we can only back the Blue Jays and their 80% history of run line success.
MLB Pick: Take the Blue Jays -1.5 (+130) at 5Dimes