Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#6913 Toronto Blue Jays vs.
#6914 Minnesota Twins
Friday, May 26, 2023 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Chris King

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A pair of American League teams open up a weekend series on the diamond up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Toronto Blue Jays are on the road as they play the first game of a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins Friday night. Toronto closed out a four-game road set with Tampa Bay Thursday hoping to earn a split of the series. The Blue Jays fell 7-3 in the third game of the series Wednesday night. Minnesota avoided a sweep at the hands of the Giants at home Wednesday afternoon as they prevailed 7-1 in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Last season, the Twins won the season series 4-3, though the teams split four games in the most recent series, which came at Target Field August 4-7, 2022.

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Toronto Blue Jays Hoping to Reverse Recent Struggles

Toronto entered Thursday losers of six of their previous seven games as they were beaten by Tampa Bay Wednesday. The Blue Jays went into Thursday’s action 26-24 on the year and stood tied for fourth in the AL East, 9.5 games behind the Rays for the top spot in the division. On Wednesday, Toronto got two hits each from Bo Bichette (run) and Daulton Varsho, though it wasn’t enough to get a victory. Cavan Biggio added his third homer of the season in a losing effort for the Blue Jays. Yusei Kikuchi (5-2) took the loss as he allowed five runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts over five innings before departing.

Kevin Gausman is on the mound for the Blue Jays as he makes his 11th start of the season in this contest. He is 2-3 with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.079 WHIP, 11 walks and 81 strikeouts over 63 innings of work this year. Gausman didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came at home against the Orioles Sunday afternoon. He threw eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a game Toronto eventually dropped 8-3 in 11 innings. In his last three starts, Gausman has no record with a 1.71 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, four walks and 23 strikeouts over 21 innings of work. Gausman makes his 10th career start against the Twins in this contest. He comes in 0-4 with a 6.36 ERA, a 1.393 WHIP, nine walks and 53 strikeouts over 46.2 innings of work against them. Gausman is 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP, four walks and 30 strikeouts over 24.2 innings in five career starts at Target Field.

Twins Look to Build on AL Central Lead

Minnesota had dropped three straight and five of their previous six before beating San Francisco in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. The Twins entered Thursday 26-24 on the season and held a 2.5-game lead on the Tigers in the AL Central. Against the Giants onWednesday, Minnesota got two hits from Willi Castro (two runs) while Randal Jeffers (his second) and Edouard Julien (his third) each went deep in the victory. Joe Ryan (7-1) earned the win on the mound as he threw five innings, allowing one run on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts before departing. Four Twins relievers threw four scoreless innings of work to close it out.

Louie Varland is on the hill as he makes his sixth start of the season for the Twins in this contest. He comes in 2-0 with a 4.18 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, seven walks and 31 strikeouts over 28 innings of work this season. Varland earned the win in his last start, which came against the Angels on the road Saturday. He threw five innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a 6-2 Twins victory. In his last three starts, Varland is 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, four walks and 17 strikeouts over 17.1 innings of work. Varland, in his 11th career major league start, faces the Blue Jays for the first time here. This marks his fifth career start at Target Field. In those outings, Varland is 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA, a 1.087 WHIP, six walks and 19 strikeouts over 23 innings of work.

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Insiders Status:


Both teams have had their struggles of late but the Twins find themselves atop their division while the Blue Jays are tied for the cellar in the AL East. Varland has pitched well in his last couple of starts but the Twins’ offense has been middling most of the season. Meanwhile, Toronto has plenty of pop in their lineup, as evidenced by their 20-run outburst against Tampa Bay Tuesday night. The Blue Jays have gotten strong outings from Gausman, though they’ve failed to help him out when it comes to translating those into victories. That changes here as the Blue Jays do enough at the plate to get their starter a win while taking the opening game of the series.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays -150

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Toronto has seen the under post a 16-14-2 mark this season entering Thursday. The Blue Jays are 10th in the majors with an average of 4.82 runs per game this year, though that number climbs to 5.25 runs per game as the visiting team. Toronto has an average total of 9.24 runs per game on the season but on the road, that mark surges up to 10.29 runs per game. Minnesota entered Thursday having seen the under post a 10-4-2 mark this season. The Twins are 13th in runs per game with 4.60 runs per contest this season, though that number edges up to an even five runs per game as the home team on the year. Minnesota sees an average total of 8.30 runs per game this season, though that number edges up to 8.80 runs per game at Target Field. Both pitchers have been solid of late and this one likely ends up falling short of the total.

Prediction: Under 8

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.