Blue Jays vs. Tigers Odds, Pick & Betting Preview: How to Bet Friday’s Over/Under (August, 27)
Ron Schwane/Getty Images. Pictured: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Steven Matz.
- The Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers will face off Friday night in a matchup of two middle of the road teams.
- With two inconsistent pitchers on the mound, the 9.5 over/under has the eye of our MLB betting analyst Mike Ianniello.
- He breaks down how to bet Friday's series opener below.
Blue Jays vs. Tigers Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-165|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
Both the Blue Jays and Tigers are coming in off a loss and sitting 4-6 in their last 10 games. Detroit is currently third in their division, while Toronto is fourth in theirs, despite being six games over .500 in the difficult AL East.
The Blue Jays have been pretty unlucky this year, and blown too many games late that they should have come away with. Their +113 is the highest run differential for any team likely to miss the playoffs, by a lot. Based on their run differential, their expected record is actually 74-52, which would put them in a wild card position instead of sitting 5.5 games back.
This will be a quick reunion for these two squads who just played each other north of the boarder last weekend. The Tigers took two-of-three in Toronto and now return to Detroit where they have played to three games over .500 this year.
Blue Jays’ Matz Up and Down
After starting the season expected to be the number two guy in this Blue Jays rotation, Steven Matz (LHP) might actually be their number five starter at this point. It has been and up-and-down season for Matz, who currently holds a 10-7 record with a 3.94 ERA and 4.08 xERA
After getting off to a pretty good start, Matz really struggled through May, June and July. However, it looks like he might have finally turned a corner as he has been terrific this month. In his four starts in August, Matz has a 1.25 ERA and has allowed just three earned runs in 21 2/3 innings.
Toronto’s offense has been near the top of the league all season. They rank second in the league in both wOBA and wRC+, trailing only the Astros. The Blue Jays have a rare blend of excellent power numbers and contact numbers. They have hit the second most home runs in the league, while also producing the second lowest strikeout rate.
Obviously this lineup is led by young star Vlad Guerrero Jr, who leads the league in wOBA, wRC+ and WAR. If Shohei Ohtani wasn’t a pitcher as well, Guerrero would be the clear American League MVP. He isn’t doing it alone either as Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez and Bo Bichette all mash the ball alongside him.
George Springer is sidelined with a knee injury but he has been running and could return on Friday. He has been huge in this lineup, when healthy, hitting 16 home runs from the leadoff spot in just 49 games this year.
Tigers’ Manning Showing Potential
Entering the season as the Tigers No. 2 prospect, former ninth overall pick Matt Manning (RHP) made him MLB debut on June 17 and has held his spot in the starting rotation since. There has been some early bumps, but also signs of his potential.
In his 11 big league starts, Manning is 3-5 with a 5.91 ERA and opponents have posted a .290 xBA and .x351 xwOBA. The biggest adjustment Manning is struggling with is his ability to miss bats at the MLB level. He had solid strikeout numbers through the minors, posting a 10.02 K/9 rate in Triple-A, but so far this season has managed just a 4.89 K/9 rate.
At just 23-years old, Manning continues to work hard to improve, specifically working on getting more power in his delivery. In his last two starts, Manning upped his average velocity to 94.6 miles per hour, with his high touching 97.6, both season highs for him. He tied a season high with four strikeouts in his last start, but struggled with his control a bit.
The Detroit Tigers offense has not been totally inept this season, ranking 20th in the league in wOBA and wRC+ this year. They sit 19th in runs per game.
While they don’t necessarily have any stars in this lineup, the Tigers do have capable hitters with guys like Jonathan Schoop, Jeimer Candelario and Robbie Grossman all having solid years. Niko Goodrum is on the injured list but catcher Eric Haase is expected to be activated for Friday’s game. Haase is tied for the team lead with 19 home runs and leads Detroit in OPS.
Blue Jays vs. Tigers Pick
We know this Blue Jays offense can mash the ball. Even in last night’s loss, they put up seven runs. Manning has the potential but he is still young and trying to figure it out. He has been unable to generate strikeouts this season, and Toronto rarely swings and misses. The Blue Jays will put a ton of balls in play, and after Manning exits, the Tigers 25th-ranked bullpen is unlikely to have much more success.
For Matz, although he has been solid lately, he has gone through ups and downs all season and has yet to prove in his career that he can string together quality start after quality start for an extended time.
This is a good situation for the Tigers offense, as they hit much better at home, and have been really strong against left-handed pitchers. When facing southpaws at Comerica Park this season, Detroit ranks seventh in the league in wOBA and wRC+.
The Tigers just faced Matz in Toronto on Sunday and while he had success, allowing just five hits and one run in six innings, he only managed to strikeout one batter. Detroit will be seeing him for the second time in a week and should have more success against him the second time around, especially at home.
Both of these teams have shaky bullpens and offenses in a good situation to take advantage of the starting pitcher as well. I will back the total to go over 9.5 in Detroit on Friday night.
Pick: Over 9.5 (-110)