The Toronto Blue Jays travel to Minnesota to face the Twins on Tuesday in the opening game of their best-of-three wild card series. The Blue Jays will send Kevin Gausman to the mound to face Pablo Lopez. The moneyline in the Jays vs Twins Game 1 is Minnesota -110, with Toronto at even money. The total on the game is 7.5 -under (-115).
The Blue Jays finished with a better regular season record than the Twins, going 89-73. Toronto was 43-38 at home and an impressive 46-35 on the road. The Blue Jays were 43-50 when facing teams at .500 or better during the season.
The Blue Jays were No. 8 in team batting average, hitting .256 for the year. Toronto was pretty average in terms of power with 188 home runs. That ranked the Blue Jays No. 16. The Blue Jays were tied for No. 14 in runs scored with 746.
Toronto’s pitching staff was one of the best in Major League Baseball, finishing No. 4 in tear ERA with a 3.78. The bullpen did its job, converting on 51 of 69 save opportunities.
Minnesota finished the season with an 87-75 record. The Twins were much better at home, going 47-34, compared to a 40-41 mark on the road. Minnesota was 37-36 against teams .500 or better, which shows it was better than Toronto when facing a good team. But it also shows the Twins had an easier MLB schedule, playing 73 games against .500 or better teams. The Blue Jays played 93.
The Twins were No. 21 in team hitting with a .243 batting average. Minnesota tied for third with 233 home runs and was No. 10 in runs scored.
On the mound, the Twins were No. 6 with a 3.87 ERA. Minnesota relievers were 38 for 66 in save opportunities.
Gausman was 12-9 with a 3.16 ERA for Toronto this season. The Blue Jays were only 16-15 in the 31 games he started this season and 13-18 in totals. In away games, Toronto was 8-7 and 6-9 in totals. Gausman is no stranger to the postseason, having appeared in seven games, but only two were as a starter. He has an 0-1 record with a 4.57 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.
But Gausman has excelled when pitching against Lopez. In three career starts, Gausman has allowed one run and five hits in 20 innings. He’s struck out 23 batters and issued four walks.
Lopez was 11-8 with a 3.66 ERA for Minnesota this season. The Twins were 19-13 when Lopez started and 11-5 when he started at home. The Twins averaged 5.44 runs for Lopez when he started this season.
Lopez has allowed six runs in 16 2/3 innings when facing Gausman. Lopez has dropped two of the three games in which the teams met.
The Blue Jays have made the playoffs 10 times now dating back to their inception in 1977. In the past 10 seasons, the Blue Jays have made the playoffs five times.
Minnesota has advanced to the postseason a total of 15 times since 1961. The Twins have made the playoffs four times in the last 10 years.
Betting Game 1
The MLB lines in Jays vs Twins Game 1 is probably a little bit on the low side. Gausman has better individual stats than Lopez. But Lopez has won more games and the Twins are tough at home. The teams were 3-3 when they squared off during the regular season.
The Jays vs Twins Game 1 odds of 7.5-under on the total make a little bit of sense. But you can also see some runs scored in this game.
This one isn’t the easiest of the Game 1s to try and handicap. Gausman is a better pitcher than Lopez, but the Twins have some trends in their favor, as well.
Minnesota knows it needs to take advantage of playing at home. The Twins do that well. But the Blue Jays are pretty solid away from home. Lopez only has one postseason appearance, allowing 2 runs in 5.0 innings. It’s a small sample size, but showed he can take on the game’s biggest stage.
Strictly from a value standpoint, the Twins are probably the most appealing play and will take toronto in this one.
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