It is the 2023 American League Wild Card series as the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins face off in game one of the series. It is time to continue our MLB odds Series with an AL Wild Card Game One Blue Jays-Twins prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.
The Blue Jays enter the series after losing two of three over the weekend to the Tampa Bay Rays, giving them the sixth seed in the American League playoffs and a first-round date with the Twins. While they will be going to Minnesota in the Wild Card round, they have the better record in the regular season. Toronto finished the year at 89-73, two games better than the Twins.
Meanwhile, the Twins took two of three from the Rockies over the weekend, but it did not matter. They were locked into the third spot in the playoffs, winning the American League Central. In the regular season, the Twins and Blue Jays split six games. In Minnesota, the Blue Jays took two of three back in May.
Here are the Blue Jays-Twins MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Blue Jays-Twins Odds
Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (+164)
Minnesota Twins: +1.5 (-200)
Over: 7.5 (-110)
Under: 7.5 (-110)
How To Watch Blue Jays vs. Twins
Stream: ESPN App
Time: 4:30 PM ET/ 1:30 PM PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
For the Blue Jays, it is all about pitching. They are first in the majors in team ERA this year while sitting ninth in WHIP and eighth in opponent batting average. Kevin Gausman is projected to take the mound for the Blue Jays in this game. He is 12-9 on the season with a 3.16 ERA. Meanwhile, he is second in the majors in strikeouts this year. Gausman comes in riding hot. He has not allowed a run in his last two starts, going 13 innings without giving up a run. Further, he has a 2.43 ERA in September, while the Blue Jays have won three of his five starts.
Meanwhile, at the plate, the Blue Jays are 15th in runs scored this year, while sitting ninth in opponent batting average, eighth in on-base percentage, and 14th in slugging. Coming into the playoffs hot is Daulto Varsho. He has five RBIs in the last week of play with a double, a triple, and two home runs. Meanwhile, he is hitting .263 with a .333 on-base percentage. Varsho has also stolen a base and scored five times.
Bo Bichette is also hitting great in the last week. He is hitting .400 with a .444 on-base percentage. He has two doubles and a home run, leading to three RBIs. Bichette has also stolen a base and scored five times in the last week. Joining him in scoring five in the last week is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Geurrero has done that while hitting .250 with a .333 on-base percentage. He has two doubles and two home runs, but both are solo home runs, leading to just two RBIs.
As a team, the Blue Jays are hitting well. They are hitting .250 in the last week, with a .317 on-base percentage. The Blue Jays have hit 11 home runs in their last six games. Meanwhile, they have scored 31 runs, which is right on the expected total of 31.
Why The Twins Could Cover The Spread
Like the Blue Jays, the Twins rely on pitching. They are sixth in the majors in team ERA while sitting fourth in WHIP and sixth in opponent batting average. The Twins also tied for first in quality starts this year. They will be sending Pablo Lopez to the mound to start game one of the series. He went 11-8 on the season with a 3.66 ERA. Lopez was also tied for third in the majors with 234 strikeouts this year. Lopez starts September hot, giving up just one run and striking out 17 in his first two starts, spanning 14 innings. Since then, he has given up 11 runs in 15.1 innings of work, but still struck out 21.
At the plate, the Twins ranked tenth in the majors in runs scored this year, while sitting 21st in batting average, 12th in on-base percentage, and seventh in slugging. It has been Trevor Larnach leading the way as of late for the Twins. He is hitting,308 in the last week with a .438 on-base percentage. Larnach has two home runs and a double, helping him to eight RBIs in the last week with three runs scored. Meanwhile, Ryan Jeffers is hitting well too. He is hitting .400 in the last week with a .412 on-base percentage. Jeffers has a triple and three home runs, helping him to seven RBIS in the last week and four runs scored.
Scoring runs is something Matt Wallner is doing a lot of. He has scored seven times in the last week while hitting .400. He has two home runs and three doubles as well, leading to six RBIs. Six RBIs is also what Max Kepler has in the last week while he is hitting .444 and having a .500 on-base percentage. Kepler has two home runs and a double with five-run scores as well.
In the last week, the Twins are hitting .293 with a .390 on-base percentage. They have hit 14 home runs in the last six games and scored 48 times. That is on an expected run total of just 43.3 runs as well, so they are taking advantage of their run-scoring chances.
Final Blue Jays-Twins Prediction & Pick
The Twins have had a longer time frame to set up the rotation and bullpen for this series. They also come into the game hitting better than the Blue Jays. Still, the Blue Jays are a high-powered offense that can score in bunches. They were the better team of the two in the regular season. The pitching in this series will be tight, and it will be a low-scoring series. The difference is going to be the long ball in this series. With more power bats and an overall better lineup, the Blue Jays will take the series. With them facing Pablo Lopez in game one, they will take the first game as well. Take the Blue Jays in game one of the American League Wild Card Series.
Final Blue Jays-Twins Prediction & Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 (+168)