Two struggling American League teams collide on Friday when the Toronto Blue Jays cross the border for a series opener against the Minnesota Twins. The Blue Jays hit a big rut recently and entered with seven losses in their previous eight games. The Twins have dropped five of their last seven.
The MLB odds list the Blue Jays as betting favorites on the moneyline.
Blue Jays Digging a Deep Hole
The Blue Jays are falling deeper into last place of the AL East daily and can’t seem to string together a group of wins to save their season. Toronto has two separate losing streaks of five games or more this month and enters with an 8-15 mark in May.
The Jays have been even worse regarding the MLB lines and have just two wins against the run line in their previous 12 games.
Twins Cover 47% of Non-Division Games
Much like the Blue Jays, the Minnesota Twins are struggling in May and enter this series with one win in their last four games and are barely hanging onto first place in the AL Central. They are 4-6 in their previous 10 games but have the only positive run differential (+45) in the division.
The Twins haven’t covered the MLB spreads as home underdogs since May 11.
Kevin Gausman (2-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. Louie Varland (2-0, 4.18)
Kevin Gausman takes the mound on Friday, hoping to lead the Blue Jays to their first win in his previous four starts. His 4.44 ERA in May is concerning and he’s had no help from the Jays’ offense, Toronto will fail to cover the spread in a fifth straight start from the veteran. Gausman has a solid .206 batting average against the current Twins’ lineup.
Louie Varland is dealing with his struggles despite leading the Twins to back-to-back victories. The Twins are on a 2-0 ATS streak in his previous two starts despite Varland allowing five earned runs in his last 11⅓ innings. This is Varland’s first time seeing anyone on the Blue Jays, but Toronto hits righties well.
Most Strikeouts in First 10 Career Starts, Twins History (since 1961)
Francisco Liriano – 63
Joe Ryan – 58
Bert Blyleven – 58
Tyler Duffey – 53
Louie Varland – 52 🆕 pic.twitter.com/YhJra7iGFV
— Cole Schuessler (@ColeSchuessler) May 22, 2023
Blue Jays vs Twins Head-to Head
The Twins are on a 3-0 ATS run dating back to last season against the Blue Jays. All three wins came as MLB betting underdogs, two of which were at Target Field.
The Twins aren’t a high-average team at the plate, but they hit righties better with a .231 AVG and a .730 OPS.
While pitchers usually have an advantage the first time they see a lineup, I don’t believe Varland will take advantage of this.
Blue Jays vs Twins Game Information
- Game: Blue Jays (26-25) vs Twins (26-24)
- Location Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
- Day/Time: Friday, May 26, 8:10 p.m. ET
- Blue Jays vs Twins Live stream: MLB.tv
Blue Jays vs Twins Betting Lines
My best MLB picks for Friday is for this game to soar over the betting total of eight runs. I don’t trust either pitcher to keep a cap on this game and expect the scorekeeper at Target Field to have a busy night.
Pick: Over 7.5 -115
The Jays are favored for a good reason on Friday with a decent edge on the mound with Gausman starting. With ML odds of -147, I’m willing to lay a few bucks on Toronto to eke out a much-needed win.
Pick: Blue Jays -150