Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#969 Minnesota Twins -110 vs.
#970 Toronto Blue Jays 8.5
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 7:07pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays

When and Where: Wednesday, May 8, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 7:07 p.m. EDT.

Still searching for his first major league win but clearly on the verge of it after his last two starts, Trent Thornton tries again Wednesday night when the Toronto Blue Jays complete a three-game series versus the Minnesota Twins.

Gibson undone by defense last time out

Kyle Gibson (2-1, 4.68 ERA) did not have his best stuff last time out, but he also failed to get any help from his defense in the Bronx on Friday night versus the New York Yankees.

Gibson was reached for five runs — only two of them earned — and seven hits in five innings of a 6-3 defeat to the New York Yankees as he was denied a third straight winning start.

“Every now and then it just seems like a couple bounces seem like they don’t go our way,” Gibson told the Star Tribune. “It’s part of being here. They play well at home, and it is a fun place to play. Especially when they are winning. Just kind of how it goes sometimes.”

Gibson had a mixed outing against the Blue Jays at home April 16, breezing through the first five innings before allowing all four runs in the sixth. The Twins bailed him out of a loss by rallying to tie the game in an eventual 6-5 loss. The righty is 3-1 with a 5.01 ERA in eight lifetime starts versus Toronto, including 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA in three outings north of the border. Blue Jays hitters, though, are hitting Gibson at a .343 clip at Rogers Centre.

Thornton hoping for any type of offensive support

Thornton (0-3, 4.08) has sliced nearly two runs off his earned run average in his last two starts, during which he has conceded just one run and three hits in 12 innings.

The right-hander did well to match zeroes with Rangers starter Mike Minor in Texas on Friday night, allowing only a fifth-inning single and two walks in seven innings of Toronto’s eventual 1-0, 12-inning victory.

“My attack plan early was to get ahead and I didn’t do that as early as I wanted to,” Thornton told the team’s official website. “But I attacked with my fastball, made sure I could throw my offspeed for strikes and that helped me for the rest of the game. They had to honor my curveball and that helped my fastball. I felt pretty good.”

What also would make Thornton feel good is run support. The Blue Jays have backed him with a major league-low 1.27 runs per game in his seven starts and have given him just five runs to work with in 35 1-3 innings.

This will be the first time Thornton faces a team for the second time and has already lost to Minnesota. The righty was reached for four runs and six hits with three walks in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-1 defeat April 17. Nelson Cruz got two of those hits, including a double, in his two at-bats.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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It is admittedly difficult picking against Thornton as the youngster appears to have found something in his last two starts. Gibson, though, was a tough-luck loser his last time out, and the Blue Jays’ offensive struggles in this series — they have no runs and nine hits — are just too much to overlook to take the rookie. Minnesota also appears to be building something while Cleveland is dealing with a spate of injuries; these are the victories the Twins need to be in contention come August.

Prediction: Twins (-106)

Full-Game Total Pick

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Toronto’s offensive struggles may preclude picking Thornton and the Blue Jays to win, but it plays perfectly in taking the under for this contest. The under has gone 9-3 in Toronto’s last 12 games and 20-7 in the last 27 at Rogers Centre. Minnesota is also riding a strong trend with the under, having delivered in seven straight game 3s of a series and also posting a 5-1 mark in the last six games vs. sub-.500 teams.

Prediction: UNDER 9 runs (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The number feels a bit high considering the Blue Jays have yet to score in this series and the teams have cleared 27.5 on just one occasion in their six matchups this year. Toronto has been in an offensive funk in general, scoring three or fewer runs in seven of its last eight games, and while Gibson has a mediocre 1.29 WHIP, the hedge is the woes continue while Thornton tries to keep the Jays close.

Prediction: UNDER 27.5 runs+hits+errors (-120)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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The Twins are worth a flyer here given Toronto’s offensive struggles in general and also its inability to score early. The Blue Jays have not led after five innings in their last nine games and have scored one or no runs in seven of them. Minnesota pitchers have also held opponents to one or no runs in five of its seven games this month.

Prediction: Twins -0.5 runs (+125)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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With Toronto’s early inning scoring issues and Minnesota pitchers proving at their best early, the under is a clear play in this contest. The five-inning under is 3-2-2 in Thornton’s seven starts but there also has not been more than five runs scored in any of them.

Prediction: UNDER 5 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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This is a “kick ’em while they’re down pick” against the Blue Jays, who have gone 20 innings without a run. Gibson has also given up just four runs combined in the first two innings of his six starts, which means the Twins should get three cracks at taking a lead in this contest.

Prediction: Twins to score first (-150)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.