Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#921 Toronto Blue Jays 9 vs.
#922 Minnesota Twins -160
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:40pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams from the American League continue an early week series in the Twin Cities. The Toronto Blue Jays are on the road as they play the third game of a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins Wednesday night. Toronto rallied to take the opening game of the series, 5-3, on Monday night to draw first blood. The pitching matchup for Tuesday’s second game of the set saw Aaron Sanchez take the mound for Toronto against Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. First pitch in the contest was set for 7:40 pm ET.

Toronto Blue Jays Still Looking for Offensive Production

Toronto managed to come up with a win in the series opener Monday night but it took a late rally to get it. The Blue Jays entered Tuesday 6.5 games behind the Rays for the top spot in the AL East race. Randal Grichuk (run) and Teoscar Hernandez (run, three RBI) each had three of the Blue Jays’ season-high 11 hits in the win. Hernandez hit a go-ahead three-run homer, his first of the year, in the eighth inning to get Toronto the win. Matt Shoemaker didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed three runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts over six innings of work. Sam Gaviglio (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless seventh while Joe Biagini worked the ninth for his first save.

Rookie Trent Thornton takes the ball to make his fourth start of the season for the Blue Jays in this contest. He comes in 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA, a 1.244 WHIP, four walks and 18 strikeouts over 13.2 innings of work this season. Thornton took the loss in his last start, which came at home against Tampa Bay Friday night. He threw three innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in an 11-7 Toronto defeat. In his fourth major league start, Thornton pitches against the Twins for the first time in his career. As a result, this marks his first career start at Target Field.

Minnesota Twins Hoping to Hold AL Central Edge

Minnesota had their chances in the opening game of this set but the bullpen wilted in the eighth inning to turn a 3-1 lead into a 5-3 defeat. The Twins entered Tuesday holding a half-game edge over the Indians in the AL Central race. Minnesota got three hits from Jorge Polanco (run) while C.J. Cron accounted for their offense with a three-run homer, his second of the season. Martin Perez was solid in his first start of the season but ended up with a no-decision. He threw six innings, allowing one run on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Adalberto Mejia (0-1) took the loss on the mound as he allowed four runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts over two innings of relief.

Jake Odorizzi takes the mound for his fourth start of the season for the Twins in the contest. He is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA, a 1.147 WHIP, nine walks and 15 strikeouts over 11.1 innings of work this season. Odorizzi took the loss in his last start, which came on the road against the Mets last Wednesday. He threw 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on one hit with four walks and three strikeouts in a 9-6 Twins defeat. Odorizzi makes his 16th career start against the Blue Jays in this contest. He is 5-3 with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.059 WHIP, 33 walks and 68 strikeouts over 89.2 innings of work. Odorizzi is 5-4 with a 4.17 ERA, a 1.349 WHIP, 38 walks and 101 strikeouts over 99.1 innings in 19 career starts at Target Field.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Odorizzi has limited the hits he’s allowed as he’s given up only four on the season to date. The problem is that he has handed out nine free passes and opposing teams have cashed in on those opportunities. Thornton pitched decent ball in his first couple of starts before getting victimized by the long ball in his last start against Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays showed an ability to rally in the opening game of the set. Expect them to take advantage of the free passes that Odorizzi has handed out in the first few weeks of the season to generate enough offense to get the win here.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays +115

Full-Game Total Pick

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We saw the Blue Jays rally with four runs in the eighth to win the opening game of the series but that one still ended up falling under this total. Toronto has a rookie pitcher on the mound in this contest while the Twins are going with Odorizzi. Minnesota has to hope that Odorizzi can hit the strike zone with more pitches and that the Blue Jays don’t hammer the ball around the park. If he hands out free passes, the chances for the Twins drop precipitously. Can the Blue Jays come up with the win in this contest?

The under is 4-0 in the Blue Jays’ last 4 Wednesday games, 9-1 in their last 10 vs. American League Central teams and 7-3 in their last 10 during game 3 of a series. Minnesota has seen the under go 5-1 in Odorizzi’s last 6 home starts, 8-2 in Odorizzi’s last 10 starts during game 3 of a series and 7-3-1 in their last 11 home games vs. a right-handed starter. The under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Minnesota: look for this one to fall short of the total as both lineups have their struggles at the plate.

Prediction: Under 9

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Toronto struggled in the opener before breaking through in the late innings against the Twins’ bullpen. One has to wonder if they’ll have better luck against Odorizzi, who isn’t giving up many hits but is dishing out a lot of free passes in the early going. Minnesota has to deal with a rookie pitcher that doesn’t have much of a track record to look back and base their strategy on here. The Blue Jays get the upper hand after five innings of work as they take advantage of Odorizzi’s wildness.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Toronto has been up and down offensively in the early going this season and, even putting five runs on the board in Monday’s game, it’s important to note that they were shut down by Martin Perez early. The Blue Jays had just one run in the first seven innings before tallying four in the eighth for the win. Toronto is 26th in the majors with 3.59 runs per game and 26th in team batting average with a .210 clip. Minnesota has been good offensively but it’s tough to face a rookie pitcher: look for this one to end up under the number after five innings.

Prediction: Under

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.