Toronto Blue Jays At Minnesota Twins [August 4] - MLB Picks And Predictions

Vladimir Guerrero Jr
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

Ernesto Cova

The Toronto Blue Jays will look to keep their second-half surge going when they visit the Minnesota Twins for the first of a four-game series.

The Twins need to avoid getting cold when it matters the most after an impressive first half of the season, so facing a red-hot team with one of the finest offenses in Major League Baseball may not be what the doctor ordered.

Blue Jays Dodged A Bullet

Bo Bichette
Shutterstock | 189939508

Blue Jays star Alek Manoah had to leave his last start after a ball hit him in the elbow but he was able to avoid further injury.

Losing their best hurler and Cy Young candidate would've been a massive blow for a Blue Jays team that's struggled with inconsistent starters throughout the season. Now, they hope he's able to give them another quality start against one of the best teams in the American League.

Can The Twins Keep Up?

Byron Buxton
Wikimedia | Beisbol

The Twins were one of the most surprising teams of the first half of the season. They finally look like the contender they were supposed to be over the past couple of years, and all that speculation about Carlos Correa leaving after the season ended.

Nonetheless, they can't afford to sleep on their laurels, as the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Guardians are right on their toes in the division.

Key Injuries, Stats, And Trends

Miguel Sano
Wikimedia | UCinternational

The Twins are slightly banged up ahead of this game. They'll be without Miguel Sano, Alex Kiriloff, Max Kepler, and Ryan Jeffers. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, are mostly healthy for this matchup.

When it comes to trends, it's worth noting that the Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last four during game 1 of a series, 4-0 in their last four road games vs. a right-handed starter, and 6-1 in their last 7 vs. American League Central. Also, the Under is 7-0 in Blue Jays' last 7 overall, and 5-0 in Blue Jays' last five vs. American League Central.

Picks For Blue Jays At Twins

Alek Manoah
Giphy | MLB

The Twins will send Sonny Gray (6-3, 3.41 ERA) to the mound. He'll look to win his third straight game after a shaky start to the season, and he's 4-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) against the Canadian side.

Manoah gives the Blue Jays a big edge in the pitching matchup. He's 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA for the season and fared well in his lone career appearance against the Twins, striking out 8 through 5.2 IP en route to a 5-2 win.

So, considering the pitchers' matchup, one would think this has the makings of a low-scoring affair, with the Blue Jays having a slight edge to end on top.