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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins
Where and when: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Monday, 7:40 pm EST
The Toronto Blue Jays will travel to Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a four-game set versus the Minnesota Twins beginning on Monday night at 7:40 pm EST. The Blue Jays have had a rough go of it thus far in the season as they have dropped seven of their last ten outings, overall. However, they were able to tie their current, three-game set versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday as Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. (2 RBI’s) along with Teoscar Hernandez (RBI) led the offensive attack as Toronto had just five hits in the 3-1 contest.
Blake Snell suffered the no-decision, yet, pitched a solid six innings for the Rays while allowing just six hits, recording nine strikeouts, in addition to having a 2.16 ERA. Clay Buckholtz also picked up the no-decision as he picked up the quality start as well while allowing just one earned run for the game in addition to having a 1.50 ERA. Nonetheless, the Blue Jays have also played awful on the road in dropping five of their last six games on the road.
The Twins continue to find themselves in third-place within the AL Central as they were able to pick up a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in game one of a two-game home set. In all, four runs in the third inning turned out to be just enough to pick up a victory as Eddie Rosario (2-4, 2 RBI’s) along with Jorge Polanco (1-3, RBI) came up with some huge hits during this time. Furthermore, Byron Buxton also went 1-2 with an RBI in the much-needed win as well as Minnesota collected a mere five runs on the night.
Michael Pineda (2-0) remained undefeated on the year in pitching six innings while allowing three earned along with a homer versus the Tigers. He also struck out five batters in addition to ending with a 3.00 ERA. Offensively, Polanco is batting .372 on the year while the Twins are hitting .267 as a team on the year. They are also ranked 7th in the league in runs scored per game at 5.36.
Perez takes mound for first start of the year
Martin Perez’ (1-0) first three appearances of the season came as a reliever for the Minnesota Twins. And while he was able to pick up a win in his opening matchup versus the Cleveland Indians on March 31st (despite allowing three earned runs), the left-hander has allowed a total of seven earned runs in just 7.4 innings on the year. Furthermore, he is also responsible for 12 strikeouts during this time along with nine walks.
The newcomer from the Texas Rangers allowed three homers in a 7-2 road loss to the Blue Jays on April 29th, 2019 in permitting four earned runs in four innings. Nonetheless, the Rangers picked up an 11-4 win at Globe Life Park in June 2017 as Perez pitched six innings while allowing three earned runs alongside three K’s.
This will be Perez’ first start at Target Park since his victory versus the Indians. Justin Smoak is batting .381 lifetime versus Perez while Luke Maile is 2-5 (.400) versus the left-hander in his career.
Shoemaker seeking fourth straight win to begin 2019 campaign
Matt Shoemaker (3-0) has been on a tear at the mound this season while his ERA stands at under 1.00 for the season (.92). He began the season with two straight shutouts while allowing two earned runs on four hits in a 7-6 road win on April 9th versus the Boston Red Sox. What has been interesting with the right-hander is that he has pitched two quality games this year while racking up 19 strikeouts along with just five walks. After an injury-plagued year with the Los Angeles Angeles Angels last year, Shoemaker has already surpassed his win total for last year (2).
The right-hander’s last meeting with the Twins came on June 3rd, 2017, as the then-Angels picked up the 7-2 win behind 6 ⅓ innings from Shoemaker as he also recorded five strikeouts while allowing two earned runs. His last meeting at Target Park was an 8-1 disaster for the Angels as he allowed four earned runs along with two homers in just 3.2 innings of work.
Jason Castro (.250 on 12 AB), Nelson Cruz (.286 on 16 AB), along with Marwin Gonzales (.294 on 18 AB) have had the most experience and success versus Shoemaker in the past. Eddie Rosario along with Jonathan Schoop are a combined 2-14 versus the right-hander in their respective careers.
- MIN is 13-4 in their last 17 overall.
- MIN is 13-4 in their last 17 games on grass.
- MIN is 36-16 in their last 52 home games.
- TOR is 2-8 in their last 10 Mon. games.
- TOR is 3-9 in their last 12 overall.
- TOR is 8-20 in their last 28 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After winning four of seven games during a prior road trip, the Twins got off to a great start at home versus the Detroit Tigers as they will look to sweep the series in their finale on Sunday. With that being said, look for them to have success versus the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of this set as well en route to the victory.
This will indeed be a low-scoring matchup as the Blue Jays are ranked in the top ten in pitching ERA along with WHIP. On the other hand, the Twins are slowly becoming one of the more dangerous offensive teams in the league. Look for their lineup (which has had experience when facing the left-hander, as stated) to continue their success versus a solid Shoemaker in plating some runs early while hanging onto a slim lead late.
Prediction: Pick: Minnesota Twins -138
Full-Game Total Pick
Look for the under to be the strong play in this contest with a resurgent Shoemaker taking the mound for the Blue Jays. Also, Perez will also be looking for a much better outing after having lackluster contests in his three prior starts. Also, Perez will have much to prove as well in that this will be his first start of the year. In all, look for this contest to be low-scoring throughout.
Prediction: Pick: Under 8.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
As stated, Shoemaker has been stellar on the mound to begin the season; However, whether or not he remains healthy is yet to be seen. Furthermore, he has struggled against many of the big bats for the Twins. Perez has not pitch well for Minnesota in recent outings and have struggled versus the middle of the lineup versus the Blue Jays for his career. Nonetheless, he will be at his best afterwards as Perez will seek to earn a spot in the rotation, should a spot become open. In all, look for a back and forth affair in this contest as Toronto will go down in defeat in the end, yet, covering the spread.
Prediction: Pick: Toronto Blue Jays +1.5
First Five Innings Side Pick
While the Twins will rally late, look for the Blue Jays to have a bit more success at the plate versus Perez after five innings as opposed to Minnesota solving Shoemaker during this time. It is for this reason that I will back the visitors to claim a slim lead as the sixth inning gets underway as the Blue Jays will capitalize off Perez’ early mistakes on the hill. He will recover in the end, however, his mistakes will cost his team the spread after five.
Prediction: Pick: Toronto Blue Jays +0.5
First Five Innings Total Bet
As stated, Perez will begin the game a bit shaky. Shoemaker will continue his strong streak on the mound versus a Twins team that is averaging over 5 1/2 runs per game. However, Perez will limit the damage during his time on the hill for the Twins as he will be facing a 25th ranked Toronto offense that is averaging three runs per game while batting .203 as a team.
Prediction: Pick: Under 4.5
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
The Toronto Blue Jays will indeed cash in on the money line at the half-way point of this contest thanks to some timely hits by the Blue Jays in the early innings. Of course, one should not look for the visitors to score much as they have really struggled at the plate thus far in the year. As stated, Shoemaker will neutralize a high-scoring Twins team with his splitter pitch just enough to allow his team to claim a lead after five innings.
Prediction: Pick: Toronto Blue Jays +105