Game time: 10:10 p.m. ET
Venue: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA
Where to watch: SNET-1, ROOTNW
Blue Jays: 62-52 (4th place, AL East)
Mariners: 61-55 (3rd place, AL West)
George Springer (R) DH
Marcus Semien (R) SS
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Randal Grichuk (R) CF
Breyvic Valera (S) 2B
Santiago Espinal (R) 3B
Reese McGuire (L) C
J.P. Crawford (L) SS
Mitch Haniger (R) DH
Kyle Seager (L) 3B
Ty France (R) 1B
Abraham Toro (S) 2B
Jarred Kelenic (L) CF
Cal Raleigh (S) C
Jake Fraley (L) RF
Dylan Moore (R) LF
Probable starting pitchers: Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (SEA)
Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Blue Jays -165, Mariners +145; O/U 8.5
BetMGM: Blue Jays -165, Mariners +140
PointsBet: Blue Jays -170, Mariners +145
Blue Jays: Won three of five
Mariners: Won three of four
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Blue Jays - Mariners preview
The Toronto Blue Jays got a gift on Thursday.
In a rare loss to Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels, the Blue Jays received key losses from the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Tie that all together, and the Blue Jays didn’t lose any ground in their quest for a playoff spot; they’re only 2.5 games back of the Red Sox and trail the Yankees by a half-game.
That road will continue on the road for the Blue Jays in their matchup with the Seattle Mariners in the second game of a three-game set on Saturday. The series began Friday night in Seattle.
Thursday’s loss to the Angels was only the Blue Jays’ fourth in their last 15 games. Top deadline acquisition Jose Berrios lost his first start since coming to Toronto from the Minnesota Twins, allowing six runs in 4.1 innings.
It’s been a combination of the Blue Jays returning to Toronto for their home games, as well as talent up and down the lineup, that has sprung Toronto within striking distance of the wild card scene in the American League.
“Tonight, I was missing my command with my fastball," Berríos said. "When I don't locate my fastball, my secondary pitches don't work well. But that's a night that you had to go out there and battle pitch by pitch. I'm trying. I keep giving 100% and I feel good about it."
Despite Berrios’ off night, only the second time in 23 starts he didn’t make it through the fifth inning, Toronto’s rotation has been stellar in their recent run. There’s 23-year-old right-hander Alek Manoah making a charge for a playoff rotation spot, as well as left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu having one of the best runs of his MLB career on the mound.
It’s Toronto’s offense that has been making waves as of late, primarily George Springer in the leadoff spot. The former World Series MVP has a .327 batting average to go with seven home runs and 17 RBI in the last 14 games. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continues to strengthen his MVP case with 35 homers while batting .311 this season.
The Mariners aren’t quite out of the playoff race yet, but they’ve got to start stringing some wins together. Seattle is 5-5 in its last 10 games but is coming off winning two out of three against the last-place Texas Rangers this week.
Marco Gonzales threw a one-run complete game in the 3-1 victory for the Mariners on Thursday to move them within 4.5 games of the second wild card spot. It’s all about consistency right now. The Mariners are six games above .500 but aren’t in position to catch the Houston Astros or Oakland Athletics in the AL West.
“I've tried to stay on it the whole time,” Gonzales said, “just balancing a lot of things on and off the field, and I’m just fortunate to keep my head down and my teammates kept believing in me. Coaches kept believing in me. I knew that once I felt confident and got the ball rolling, I'd be good. And so I just tried to have faith in the work and in the process.”
The 29-year-old Gonzales seems ready for the moment, but the other pitchers in the rotation will need to step up should Seattle want to make a late playoff run. This series is a great test for that. Yusei Kikuchi will get the call for the Mariners against Ryu.
Toronto is going to be favored throughout this series as is. Should the line get to -150 or more as expected, the Blue Jays are 25-14 (-1.6).
Seattle has played the underdog role well, however. At +125 to +175, the Mariners are 27-20 (+19.6). In other words, take your pick.
We love the Blue Jays after getting settled in Seattle following travel. We could see the potential for a Friday letdown after flying from Los Angeles the night before, but Saturday could be another story. Toronto is just too good right now, and Ryu is in a groove. Blue Jays win, over cashes.
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