The Cleveland Guardians and Toronto Blue Jays will begin a three-game series Friday. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from poor recent offensive outings and a two-game losing streak. According to MLB odds, Toronto is favored in the matchup.
Guardians Light on Runs
Cleveland lost its last two in four in its last five to drop even further out of the running for the American League Central lead. The Guardians are now six games behind Minnesota, after another abysmal offensive performance.
The Guardians have averaged 3.2 runs in their last five games and two runs a game in their last four losses, scoring eight runs in their only win to boost their numbers.
In its two losses in its series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland combined for four total runs, going a combined 1-for-14 to leave 16 total on base.
The Guardians are 17th in the league with a .249 ERA and have struggled in each of their last series against Toronto, averaging 1.3 runs in four games. So for those making MLB picks, a boost in offensive productivity doesn’t seem likely to come this series.
Blue Jays to Get Back on Winning Track
Toronto also dropped its last two games to the Orioles following a three-game win streak after an uncommon performance from its pitchers.
The Blue Jays are first in the MLB with a 3.68 ERA. However, in their two losses to Baltimore, they gave up 12 total runs and four home runs. They are now 1½ games back of the final wild card in the AL.
In the five games prior to the two-game skid, Toronto had limited teams to 3.8 runs a game, with a nine-run allowance to Philadelphia an outlier during the time.
Ryu’s Cruisin’ 😎 pic.twitter.com/08SHc3k3fR
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 20, 2023
The Orioles have been one of the strongest teams recently, going 7-3 in their last 10 and averaging 6.8 runs in their last five, so the Blue Jays should get back on track against a struggling Guardians team. However, bettors may want to see how they start before looking at MLB live betting odds.
Tanner Bibee (9-3, 3.01 ERA) vs Chris Bassitt (12-6, 3.92)
Bibee has been strong this month, going 2-1 in August with a 2.63 ERA. He will be looking to bounce back against his worst performance of the month, in which he gave up three runs in five innings.
Bibee performed well in his last outing against Toronto, registering six strikeouts over a scoreless seven innings.
Bassitt has been a little less solid this month, recording a 3.32 ERA and giving up a home run in each of his three starts in August, however he’ll look to build on his last game. In his last performance against Cincinnati, Bassitt threw six strikeouts in six innings, allowing two earned runs. He has been strong at home as well with a 2.83 ERA.
Guardians vs Blue Jays Best Bet
Neither offense has been impressive recently, with the Blue Jays also averaging three runs a game in its last series with Baltimore and getting shut out as well.
The Guardians and Blue Jays previously met for a four-game series earlier this month, with all four games hitting the under and the teams combining for one run in two of the four matchups. Though that’s unlikely to happen this time, with MLB lines setting the total at 8½ runs, the two reaching the total in the opener seems far-fetched.
Bibee was strong in his last outing against Toronto and should prove to be difficult for the Blue Jays once again. Toronto’s top-ranked rotation should spell more issues for a struggling Cleveland offense as well. The opener should be another low-scoring affair between these two.
Pick: Under 8½ runs -120