Toronto Blue Jays vs Minnesota Twins Prediction, Gamble and Preview - 09/26/2021

by James Q

Toronto Blue Jays vs Minnesota Twins Prediction, Gamble and Preview - 09/26/2021


Game Time: 2:10 pm ET, Sunday, September 26th,  2021 
Venue: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Where to Watch: SNET, Bally Sports North, SNET-1

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Moneyline:  Toronto -180  Twins +155;  O/U :  9.5 runs
Caesars: Moneyline:  Toronto -180  Twins +155;  O/U :  9.5 runs

Season Record

Toronto:  85-69  (4th place AL East)
Twins:  69-85 (5th place  AL Central)

 
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Blue Jays vs Twins Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

The Toronto Blue Jays entered Friday’s game against the Minnesota Twins in a must win situation.  They are mired in a three way race for second place, and top wild card position, in the American League East. Their competitors in this race are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees who are playing each other all weekend.  Just a timezone away in Boston the outcome of every game guarantees a loss for one of the two teams the Blue Jays are trying to catch. The Blue Jays had three days worth of opportunity to jump up in the standings… and they lost.  A loss in Game 1 vs the Twins knocked the Blue Jays down by two games.  They have 2 more chances, they must get 2 wins.  The final week of ball is coming and they can’t possibly be happy with 2 games out of Wild Card playoff contention.

Toronto is 4-6 over their last ten games.  They are their own worst enemy right now, going 1-1 against the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1 against the Minnesota Twins, 1-2 against the Tampa Bay Rays, and now 0-2 against the Minnesota Twins in a four-game series.  Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays are the #1 team in the American League East.  They are tough to beat, but their is simply no excuse to not go better than .500 against the Minnesota Twins while also trying to catch an AL wild card spot.  During the ten games they logged 2 Overs, 7 Unders, and 1 Push.

The Twins are 6-4 over their last ten games.  Notching 5 Overs and 5 Unders.  Theft went 1-2 against the Cleveland Indians, 1-2 against the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0 against the Chicago Cubs, and 2-0 against the Toronto Blue Jays.  They have no shot at anything this postseason and haven’t been in contention for it all season.  There is one thing the American league Central last place team can boast about.  They may have played spoiler to the Blue Jays depending how next week shakes out.

Offensive Analysis

The Toronto Blue Jays are an offensive juggernaut.  2nd in team batting average .269, 3rd in runs scored 797, 1st in home runs 243, 1st in OPS .791, 1st in SLG .461… they hit the ball.  The team with Vladimir Guerrero Jr is now more than that.  They have bats up and down the lineup.

The Twins are 18th in team batting average .241, 16th in runs scored 694, 4th in home runs 217… 16th in BB.  The Twins have good hitters, they just don’t seem to work as a team. Jorge Polanco is the top guy, but Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Josh Donaldson are all big bats… even Nelson Cruz adds 19 HR in only 85 games as a DH.  This team is slightly below average in every major offensive statistic, but suddenly jumps to 4th in HR and 8th in Slugging? But remain 16th in RBI ... They need some guys who can get base hits regardless of power to put them out.  They have almost no one on base when these deep shots are taken.

 

 

Defensive Analysis

The Blue Jays are 9th in team ERA 3.92, 12th in strikeouts 1388, 22nd in whip 1.24. The pitching is slightly above average.  If they had one more ACE to go with this rotation and compliment this offense…. They would be unstoppable.

The Twins are 26th in team ERA 4.84, 23rd in strikeouts 1255, 18th in WHIP 1.32.  The pitching isn’t very good.  

Blue Jays vs Twins Prediction

Our prediction for Sunday, September 26th is…  Blue Jays 7 - Twins 3

 

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MLB Betting Trends

Toronto is 42-37 in road games this season.
Minnesota is 36-40 in home games this season.
Toronto is 9-1 in the last ten games Alek Manoah has started.
Minnesota pitcher G. Jax has started 4 straight games that the score has hit Over.
Toronto is 39-18 in day games this season.
Minnesota is 28-39 in day games this season.

Key Injuries

Toronto: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF is "?" Sunday vs Minnesota Twins ( Hand )  *  Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 10-day IL (09/19) ( Neck )
Minnesota:  Joe Ryan P is out indefinitely ( Bereavement List )  * Rob Refsnyder CF 10-day IL (09/18) ( Elbow )

Players To Watch


The Blue Jays will start Alek Manoah on the mound.  The right-handed pitcher is a real bright spot on the Blue Jays pitching staff.  His numbers of 7-2, 3.36 ERA, 109 strikeouts in 99 innings of work, and 1.08 WHIP seem to be just the tip of the iceberg for the 23 year old 2019 first round pick.  On Monday 9/13 Alek pitched 8 innings against the tough Tampa Bay Rays lineup and only gave up 1 hit.  He got the win ands announced to the league that he can go a full game if needed.

The Twins will start righty Giffin Jax.  3-4, 6.75 ERA, 60 SO in 72 IP.  The 26 year old had his Major League debut in June. This isn’t a very fair matchup.  When the smoke clears on Griffin Jax’s 2021 numbers he is more likely to find a spot in the bullpen as opposed to among the starters.  In his last three games Griffin has given up 16 hits and 10 runs in 13 innings.  Also he’ll be throwing to the Toronto offense.


Notable Quotes

“Well, we’ve got nine games left. Back-to-back tough losses, it’s about flushing it and going on to the next game…….We can’t dwell on it.” - Jays Catcher Danny Jansen.


Starting Lineups

Blue Jays:
G. Springer, CF
M. Semien, 2B
V. Guerrero Jr., 1B
B. Bichette, SS
T. Hernandez, RF
A. Kirk, DH
C. Dickerson, LF
S. Espinal, 3B
R. McGuire, C

Twins:  
L. Arraez, 3B
B. Buxton, CF
J. Polanco, 2B
J. Donaldson, DH
M. Sano, 1B
N. Gordon, LF
B. Rooker, RF
R. Jeffers, C
A. Simmons, SS

Statistical Leaders

Twins:
Batting Average:  Jorge Polanco  .273
OBP:  Josh Donaldson  .350
Hits:  Jorge Polanco  152
Wins: Michael Pineda  8
Strikeouts:  Jose Berrios  126
Saves:  Alex Colome  15

Blue Jays:
Batting Average: Vladimir Guerrero Jr  .322
RBI:  Teoscar Hernandez  110
Everything else is Vlad Guerrero Jr.. HR, OBP, Hits
Wins: Hyun Jin Ryu  13
ERA:  Robbie Ray  2.72
Saves:  Jordan Romano.

Managers:

Blue Jays: Charlie Montoyo
Twins: Rocco Baldelli

Weather Forecast 

Partly cloudy.  High of 81* .  Enjoy it now Minneapolis, you’ll have chains on your tires in a month.

 


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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