Price Makes Debuts in Toronto: Twins-Jays MLB Picks

Darin Zank

Monday, August 3, 2015 11:02 AM GMT

David Price makes his debut for his new team as the Blue Jays and Twins open a four-game series at Rogers Centre Monday afternoon. Price has been tough on the Twinkies this season, and is a huge favorite; do we back Toronto, or perhaps find other ways of playing this game?

Twins-Blue Jays Monday Odds
Based on Monday morning's MLB odds, the best price we could find on Toronto with newcomer David Price was the -203 offered at Pinnacle, while Minnesota and Ervin Santana were getting +205 at 5Dimes. And most of the market listed a total on today's game of 8.5 runs, with a few eights out there.

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The Situation
Toronto just took three of four games over the weekend from AL Central-leading Kansas City, winning Sunday 5-2. So the Jays are 3-1-1 in their last five series, 9-6 over their last 15 games.

At 54-52 Toronto trails the first-place Yankees by six games in the AL East, but sits just one game behind Minnesota, which still clings to that second American League wild-card spot.

Minnesota, meanwhile, just split four games with Seattle, losing Sunday 4-1 in 11 innings. Twins closer Glen Perkins gave up a solo homer in the top of the ninth, and has now allowed seven runs, and four dingers, in 5 2/3 innings of work since the All-Star break.

Minnesota is now 0-4-1 in its last five series and 4-10 over its last 14 games. At 54-50 the Twins trail the first-place Royals by eight games in the AL Central, but, as mentioned above, still lead the race for the second American League wild-card spot by one game over the Blue Jays and Orioles.

This is the second series between these teams this season; back in May the Twins took two of three games from the Jays at Target Field.

Both these teams own two of the starker home-road splits this season; Toronto is 32-21 at Rogers Centre, while Minnesota is 20-28 on the road.

 

Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Price (9-4, 2.53), by our strict standards, is 15-for-21 on quality starts this season. Last Tuesday, in his final start with Detroit, he gave up five runs in six innings of a 10-2 loss to Tampa, but over his previous four starts he allowed just four earned runs through 30 innings. On the season Price has allowed 133 hits through 146 innings, walked 29 and struck out 138.

Detroit went 15-6 in Price's starts, with the totals going 11-10.

Price has already started three times against Minnesota this season, permitting just three ER through 23 innings; the Tigers won all three of those games, with the UNDERS going 2-1.

Santana (2-1, 3.78) is three-for-five on quality starts since rejoining the team a month ago, but is coming off his second poor outing. Last Tuesday he got bombed for eight runs – six earned – in less than six innings of a 10-4 loss to Pittsburgh. But in his two starts previous to that he held the A's and Angels scoreless through 15 2/3 innings. On the whole Santana has allowed 28 hits, including six homers, through 33 innings, walked 11 and struck out 24.

The Twins are 3-2 in Santana's starts, with the totals going 2-3.

Santana last faced Toronto in 2013, when in two starts with Kansas City he held the Jays to three ER through 15 innings; both those games played UNDER.

 

Monday's Batting Splits
Minnesota ranks seventh in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .261 team batting average, and 12th with a .317 team on-base percentage.

Toronto ranks 11th against right-handed pitching with a .256 average and eighth with a .323 team OBP.

 

Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Rogers Centre this season are leaning toward the UNDERS by a 30-21 margin, even though they're averaging 9.3 runs per, sixth-most among all ML ballparks. Obviously, oddmakers are posting some large totals on Jays home games.

 

Twins-Jays Monday Free Picks
We've been expecting Minnesota to fade for a few weeks now, and it appears they may be obliging. And Price has been very tough on the Twins. So we like Toronto for today's MLB pick, and we'll take a chance with the Jays on the run line. Also, with a little help from these two bullpens this game has a good chance of playing OVER.

Picks: Blue Jays -105 on the run line and OVER 8.5 runs (+118) at 5Dimes