The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins will begin a three-game series on Friday night at Target Field.
Toronto dropped three of four games to the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week and has now lost seven of its last eight games. Minnesota, meanwhile, is coming off a series loss to the San Francisco Giants and has just two wins in its last seven contests.
The Blue Jays are -155 road favourites on the moneyline with the total set at eight runs.
Blue Jays vs. Twins odds
|Blue Jays Moneyline Odds||-155|
|Twins Moneyline Odds||+135|
|Runline odds||Blue Jays -1.5 (+110), Twins +1.5 (-130)|
|Over/Under||8 runs (-105 over, -115, under)|
|Time/Date||Friday, May 26, 8:10 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: Sportsnet, SNET NOW app|
About the Blue Jays (26-25 SU, 23-28 ATS, 26-23-2 o/u)
Nobody expected the Blue Jays to be in last place in the AL East after 50 games. Expectations are far higher than the team’s 26-25 record suggests, and the Jays held a players-only meeting following Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Rays in an attempt to clear the air and get things back on track.
Toronto is entering a brutal portion of its schedule beginning Friday, with its next seven opponents all boasting records over .500. The Jays will be taking on the Twins (twice), Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and Texas Rangers over the next several weeks.
Catcher Danny Jansen is questionable Friday after suffering a groin injury on Wednesday. Alejandro Kirk caught on Thursday and the Rays stole seven bases off him. However, Kirk made up for his defensive shortfalls with the bat by recording three hits in the loss.
About the Twins (26-24 SU, 26-24 ATS, 21-26-3 o/u)
The Twins have dropped three straight series, but they still lead the weak American League Central by two games heading into action Friday.
Minnesota can blame injuries for its poor play recently as 11 players are currently on the injured list. Joey Gallo (hamstring), Max Kepler (hamstring), Jorge Polanco (hamstring), and Nick Gordon (tibia) are just some of the key names sidelined, and shortstop Carlos Correa has missed the last two games with plantar fasciitis. He’s questionable for Friday.
One bright spot for the Twins has been outfielder Byron Buxton who brings a 24-game on-base streak into this one. He’s recorded a hit in 28 of his 45 games (62.2%) this season and has 11 multi-hit games. Buxton, who is -155 to record a hit on Friday, has just one knock in seven career at-bats against Toronto’s probable starting pitcher, Kevin Gausman.
Toronto: Kevin Gausman (2-3, 3.14 ERA, 11.6 K/9, 1.08 WHIP)
Gausman was solid in his last outing against the Orioles, allowing just two runs on six hits over eight innings while striking out four. And he’s surrendered just four earned runs over his last 21 innings while amassing 23 strikeouts.
Toronto will be counting on the right-hander to log some innings after starter Alek Manoah lasted just three on Thursday. Reliever Trevor Richards tossed three innings in relief and will likely not be available on Friday.
Bettors beware: Gausman has horrific numbers historically against the Twins, posting a 0-4 record with a 6.36 ERA in nine starts.
Minnesota: Louie Varland (2-0, 4.18 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 1.25 WHIP)
Varland has won his last last two starts and held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs on six hits over five innings the last time out. The righty is a virtual unknown to Blue Jays hitters as he’s never faced them in his young career (10 starts). There isn’t a single player on Toronto’s roster that has had an at-bat against Varland.
It should be a very pleasant night at Target Field in Minnesota. Forecasts are calling for temperatures around 24C and clear conditions. Winds will be blowing in from right field at around 15 km/h.
- The over is 6-0 in Toronto’s last six games.
- The over is 6-1 in the past seven meetings.
- The under is 4-1 in the Twins’ last five games.
- The Blue Jays are 6-1 in their last seven Friday games.
Player prop trends
- After a miserable start to the season, Jays first baseman/designated hitter Brandon Belt is heating up at the plate. The veteran is riding a four-game hitting streak and has hits in seven of his last eight games. He’s -135 to record a hit.
- Buxton has stolen a base in back-to-back games. He’s +390 to record a steal, and as previously discussed, he’s been getting on base a lot lately. Gausman, who relies heavily on his sinker, is relatively easy to steal on, with runners having a 79.4 success rate on stolen base attempts.
- Blue Jays over 4.5 runs: +105. Following a players-only meeting, look for the inspired Jays to break out the bats in Minny.
- SGP – Blue Jays to win, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to homer: +600. Vladdy appears to be heating up, with hits in four straight games. The first baseman also homered and collected six RBIs on Tuesday. This same-game parlay has been boosted from +550.