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baseball | Thursday, August 4, 2022 12:42 PM (Revised at: Thursday, August 4, 2022 5:23 PM)

Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays Moneyline Best Bet: Manoah Outduels Gray

Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays Moneyline Best Bet: Manoah Outduels Gray
Contributor: Zuma Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays Moneyline Best Bet: Thursday, August 4th

The Minnesota Twins host the Toronto Blue Jays for the first of their four-game series on Thursday night. Minnesota comes into this contest off a low-scoring series win over the Detroit Tigers, while the Blue Jays have been on a tear since the break, going 8-3. Toronto lost the series 2-1 when these teams met north of the border back in June, however, and has just a 24-25 record on the road in 2022.

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Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays Preview

Fri, Aug 5. 00:40 (UK time)

Two premier pitchers are on the mound on Thursday night (or the early hours of Friday morning in the UK), with Alek Manoah taking the ball against Sonny Gray.

Manoah, a first-round pick in 2019, has been Toronto’s co-ace this year. Gray is posting some of the best numbers of his big-league career on the back of his high-spin fastball, owning a 3.40 ERA this season with an almost identical expected figure.

Manoah has the better ERA at 2.43, but his xERA is 3.10. The young arm had his joint-worst start of the season in his previous outing, allowing four earned runs to the anaemic Detroit Tigers offence. Gray, too, has endured some difficult starts recently. Despite conceding only two earned runs over his previous two outings, the former Red put up a concerning 5.92 ERA for the month of July. The Twins have lost three of his last six starts.

These are two elite offences. Toronto is third in wRC+ against righties for the year, with the Twins just a couple of spots behind. That trend has continued over the last two months. Interestingly, these line ups have a similar profile, too, with middling walk rates and relatively low strikeout marks.

Where there is a gap between them here, however, is how they fare against the primary stuff of the respective starters. Toronto is good-to-elite when facing fastballs and curveballs, which is the main diet they will be served by Gray. Minnesota, though, is in the bottom 10 against sliders, which Manoah throws almost 30% of the time and to great results. We could see a lot of swing and miss from the Twins on that pitch.

Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays Best Bet

Bullpens are a fascinating part of this series and Thursday’s game, too. Both teams made moves to reinforce their relief corps at the deadline.

Following the respective moves, these bullpens look pretty even. They are almost neck-and-neck in xFIP since the start of June, and the combination of arms added before Tuesday’s deadline are pretty similar.

Manoah facing this Twins line up is a better matchup for Toronto than Gray trying to becalm this Jays offence. It’s that simple.

Sure, the Jays haven’t been great on the road, but they are scorching at the moment, and we like them at 1.95 to take the win in the series opener.

  • Selection: Toronto Blue Jays to Win (OT Incl)
  • Best Odds: 1.89 (1xBet)
  • Stakes: 5/10

Odds as at 02:30 pm August 4th 2022. Odds may now differ.

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