Blue Jays Try to Regain Magic Against Twins
In the midst of one of the tightest playoff races in recent memory, the Toronto Blue Jays have picked a good time to play the last-place Minnesota Twins. The two teams are set to begin a four-game series on Thursday night at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The Blue Jays are hoping to use the series as a springboard to an MLB playoff spot while the Twins are just playing out the season but have a chance to play spoiler.
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Betting Odds & Betting Lines
According to BetUS, the Blue Jays are road favorites with a moneyline of-140, while Minnesota’s moneyline is listed at +125. Meanwhile, BetOnline has slightly different betting odds, with Toronto’s moneyline at -133 and Minnesota’s moneyline at +123. As for those interested in totals betting, both sportsbooks have the over/under for the game listed at 9.5 runs.
Earlier this month, the Blue Jays looked like an unstoppable force, but they’ve lost ground this week, losing two of three games to the Rays. At the same time, the Red Sox have won seven in a row to surge to the top of the Wild Card race. If the playoffs started today, the Blue Jays would be left out, as they are half a game behind the Yankees but have a chance to pick up ground this weekend with the Yankees and Red Sox playing each other.
As for the Twins, they are fighting just to avoid a last-place finish. Considering that Minnesota entered the season with postseason hopes, finishing last would be a disaster. Despite winning back-to-back games against the Cubs earlier this week, the Twins are two games behind the Royals in terms of avoiding a last-place finish.
The Twins will send Michael Pineda to the mound for Thursday’s series opener against the Blue Jays. Pineda has had some hiccups this year due to injury but has otherwise put together a solid season, going 7-8 with a 3.74 ERA across 20 appearances.
He’s also 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA over his three starts in September, including a win over the Blue Jays last weekend when he held the Jays to one earned run on three hits over 5.1 innings.
While still potent, Toronto’s offense has come back down to earth in a big way over the past week. They are averaging just 3.6 runs per game over their last eight games, which is a huge step down from where they were earlier this month.
Nevertheless, the Blue Jays have a dangerous lineup that’s led by Vladimir Guerrero and Marcus Semien, who both have 40 or more homers this year.
After losing a series to the Rays this week, the Blue Jays hope that Seven Matz can get them back on track. Matz is tied with the team lead in wins, going 13-7 across 27 starts with a 3.84 ERA. Like Pineda, he’s won three consecutive starts, including one against the team he’ll face on Thursday.
The Twins scored just two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings when facing Matz last weekend. However, that’s one of the few games that Minnesota’s lineup has been held in cheek lately.
The Twins have scored at least five runs in four of their last seven games, with Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton starting to pick up the slack in support of Jorge Polanco, who’s been the team’s only consistent hitter all year.
The Birds Fly
The Twins surely have a fighting chance in this game with Pineda on the mound and the Blue Jays not looking quite as dangerous offensively lately.
But Toronto’s lineup is still stacked, and the Jays may not need a lot of runs with Matz on the mound. Bet on the Blue Jays to win Thursday’s opener against the Twins.