The Detroit Tigers will continue their battle with the Toronto Blue Jays in the third of a four-game series Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Tigers-Blue Jays prediction and pick we have laid out below.
Detroit is staying out of the cellar of the NL Central thanks in part to the Yankees beating the Royals. Similarly, the Tigers can help the Yankees in this series against Toronto. If nothing else, moral victories will be huge for Detroit the rest of the way.
Toronto, at 55-45, including 8-2 in their last 10, are in second place in the AL East. While catching the Yankees is merely a fantasy at this point, Toronto is setting fans up for an exciting final two months. Losing out on both Andrew Benintendi and Luis Castillo is heartbreaking, but there is plenty of hope for this franchise.
Here are the Tigers-Blue Jays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Tigers-Blue Jays Odds
Detroit Tigers: +1.5 (+126)
Toronto Blue Jays: -1.5 (-152)
Over: 9 (-122)
Under: 9 (+100)
Why The Tigers Could Cover The Spread
Detroit won the second game last night, beating Toronto 4-2. The Detroit bullpen was masterful, slamming the door for 5.1 innings, with 8 strikeouts and just 1 hit. Friday's game highlights the ability of Detroit, when clicking on all cylinders, to beat teams backed by their pitching. All five relievers used have an ERA below 3.50, although they may just be trade-bait for contenders. This afternoon, Detroit will send Drew Hutchison to the mound. Hutchison is in his third stint with Detroit this season, registering a 4.84 ERA in 16 appearances (6 starts). Hutchison has a 4.97 ERA in his previous starts. Despite heavy workload on Friday, Detroit still has a potent bullpen to deploy. Andrew Chafin, one of the better lefty relievers, is home due to his vaccination status, but Detroit's 3.02 bullpen ERA indicates there are other options.
Offensively, the score of last night's game is indicative of the constant struggle for Detroit. Simply, this team does not score many runs. Facing Alek Manoah last night, Detroit scored four runs in the first six innings, then held serve thanks to the strong bullpen effort. Five of the nine hits for Detroit last night went for extra bases, including Willie Castro's fourth home run. The best path to a victory again would be a similarly played game in this one.
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
Toronto avoided a major scare when Manoah's elbow was only bruised but still could not surpass Detroit last night. Instead, they managed only four hits, a Matt Chapman two-run home run, the only source of scoring. This offense cannot be counted out for long, especially after scoring 52 runs across four straight games earlier in the week. George Springer (18 home runs) at the top of the lineup forces opposing pitchers to lock in immediately. Vlad Guerrero, Jr. continues to impress in his young career, with 21 home runs so far this season. Alejandro Kirk is a wizard with the bat, with a .315 average and 12 home runs. Rocket science is not required to see a path to victory for this lineup.
Toronto is sending Ross Stripling to the mound in this one. Stripling owns a 3.10 ERA across 22 appearances (14 starts), but that shrinks to a 2.94 ERA in his starts. Stripling relies on his control to limit offenses, walking just 4.7% of batters faced and also ranks in the 84th percentile of chase rate. Toronto's bullpen has been so-so, ranking 17th with a 3.93 ERA. Still, there are plenty capable pitchers in that bullpen, leading to closer Jordan Romano and his 22 saves to end close games.
Final Tigers-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick
I think last night was merely a fluke for Detroit.
Final Tigers-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick: Toronto -1.5 (-152), over 9 (-122)