Minnesota defeated Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 on Friday in the first three games between the two over the weekend. Minnesota is 65-83 and sits last in the American League Central trailing the first-place Chicago White Sox by 19 ½ games. Minnesota will play without position players Kyle Garlick, Mitch Garver, Alex Kirilloff and Andrelton Simmons. Minnesota also has 9 pitchers on its injured list
Toronto is fourth in the American League East following its loss on Friday to the Twins. More importantly, the Blue Jays are third in the race for the two American League wild-card spots. Toronto trails the Boston Red Sox by one game and the New York Yankees by a half-game. Second basemen Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal are the only two position players on the Toronto injured list, while the Blue Jays also have four pitchers on the list.
Hitting Helping Twins Play SpoilersThe Minnesota Twins are out of playoff contention but have played the role of spoiler, evidenced by their victory over Toronto on Friday in the first game of this series. At the plate, Minnesota has had the most success this season with a .240 batting average which is 18th in baseball and improves to 8th in baseball in slugging percentage at .423, which in turn has produced the 14th most runs with 665. Shortstop Jorge Polanco has a .279 batting average, 31 home runs, 90 RBIs and 150 hits, which leads Minnesota in each statistical category. Miguel Sano has played a big role for Minnesota at the plate with 29 home runs and 70 RBIs which are second in both categories.
Minnesota has struggled on the mound all season as the Twins are 27th in ERA at 4.87, 18th in WHIP at 1.32 and opposing hitters are averaging .254 at the plate against Twins pitching which is 24th. Michael Pineda is the leader in victories for Minnesota with seven and in strikeouts with 81. At the time of publication, Minnesota had not yet released the name of its starting pitcher for Sunday's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Blue Jays Batters Battering PitchersThe Toronto Blue Jays are in a battle for the postseason in the American League thanks to excellent production at the plate. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is battling for a Triple Crown award as the Toronto designated hitter is currently first in batting average in the majors at .318, first in home runs with 46 and third in RBIs with 104. As a team, the Blue Jays are second in batting average at .267, first in slugging percentage at .464 and have scored the third-most runs with 774.
Toronto's pitching staff has been overshadowed by its hitters, but the Blue Jays are 10th in baseball in team ERA at 3.89, 9th in WHIP at 1.23 and opposing hitters are averaging only .236 at the plate against Toronto pitching which is also 9th in baseball. Hyun Jin Ryu Is leading Toronto in victories with 13, while Robbie Ray has a team-best 233 strikeouts and is the leader in ERA for starters at 2.64. The Blue Jays will hand the ball to Jose Berrios on Sunday. The right-hander this season is 11-9 with a 3.43 ERA and 181 strikeouts.
- Toronto is 16-5 in the last 21
- The Blue Jays are 6-2 in the last eight at home
- Minnesota is 1-4 in the last five against a right-handed starter
- The Twins are 3-8 in the last 11 against a team from the AL East