Minnesota Twins (65-61 SU, 65-61 RL, 56-61-9 O/U) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (60-66 SU, 58-68 RL, 60-60-6 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 25, 2017 at 7:07 p.m. EST
The Line: Toronto Blue Jays -170/Minnesota Twins +153. Total: 9.5.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins will get a three-game series underway when they clash at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Friday night. Minnesota had won six of its last eight contests heading into a series finale against the White Sox on Thursday. The Blue Jays were 1-4 in their last five going into Thursday’s date with Tampa Bay.
Colon progressing–sort of
The Twins suffered a tough walk-off loss at the White Sox on Wednesday, when they led 3-1 before losing to Chicago 4-3. Minnesota seized an advantage thanks in part to Jorge Polanco’s fourth home run in as many games, but the club eventually fell for just the second time in its last eight contests. Polanco’s sudden surge has come after he homered just three times in his first 94 games of the 2017 campaign. He also singled in a run Wednesday for the Twins, who own a half-game lead for the American League’s second wild card.
Right-hander Bartolo Colon is taking the mound for Minnesota on Friday. Colon is a horrendous 5-10 with a 6.66 ERA this season, but he has at least been better–or less bad–with the Twins than he was before being released by Atlanta. The 44-year-old is a respectable 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA through seven starts with his new club–two of which have been quality and a couple of others which have at least come close to that distinction.
Donaldson looking to sustain success
Toronto’s Josh Donaldson will try to keep things going even though he no longer has the benefit of facing American League East rival Tampa Bay. Donaldson, who has owned the Rays recently, belted a two-run shot in Wednesday’s 7-6 victory that ended a four-game skid. He has homered 12 times and knocked in 25 runs in his last 21 games overall to keep Toronto on the fringes of the AL wild-card race, but the Blue Jays need to make a major move in order to bag one of the playoff spots. As those numbers suggest, Donaldson has been good against just about everyone–not just Tampa Bay. Center fielder Kevin Pillar, meanwhile, hit a tie-breaking homer on Wednesday and is 11-for-28 in his last eight outings.
J.A. Happ will oppose Colon on Friday. The left-hander is 6-9 with a solid 3.90 ERA through 18 starts this season. He had turned in three straight outings with no more than one run allowed (a total of three runs in 18.2 innings) before giving up five runs in five innings during a 7-4 loss at the Cubs last Friday.
The Minnesota Twins are:
- 13-32 in their last 45 games on astroturf
- 17-48 in their last 65 games against Toronto
- 8-27 in their last 35 road games against Toronto
The Toronto Blue Jays are:
- 5-1 in their last six home games
- 5-0 in their last five home games against right-handed starters
- 6-2 in their last eight games on astroturf
Toronto belted six homers–the most the club has hit in a single game since 2012–in Wednesday’s 7-6 win over Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays have scored 276 of their 541 runs via the homer (51 percent is the highest such mark in the majors). The Twins recently placed catcher Jason Castro on the seven-day concussion list. Minnesota is 13-32 in its last 45 on astroturf, 17-48 in the last 65 meetings between the two teams, and 8-27 in its last 35 at Toronto. The Blue Jays are 5-1 in their last six at home, 5-0 in their last five at home against right-handed starters, 6-2 in their last eight against starters with WHIPs over 1.30, and 6-2 in their last eight on astroturf. Look for those trends to continue.