Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins (8/5/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

Tyler Mahle makes his debut with the AL Central-leading Twins on Friday, as Minnesota plays host to its former ace, Jose Berrios, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Both of these clubs were buyers at the deadline, and while the Twins are the only one of the two at the top of a division, their grip on a postseason spot is much more tenuous. Mahle will aim to make his presence felt and quiet the Blue Jays’ bats in the second game of a 4-game series.

Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Friday’s matchup.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Betting Odds

The Twins have a chance to be favored in this one, considering the Blue Jays were only -125 favorites on the moneyline with Alek Manoah on the mound Thursday. Though Berrios has been better of late, the Twins have some competent starting pitching of their own with Mahle taking the hill at home, and they have an offense powerful enough to compete with Toronto’s. With the Blue Jays only around .500 on the road, Minnesota is the smarter play here.

Toronto Blue Jays Starting Lineup

CF G. Springer R
SS B. Bichette R
1B V. Guerrero R
DH A. Kirk R
RF T. Hernandez R
LF L. Gurriel R
3B M. Chapman R
2B W. Merrifield R
C D. Jansen R

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tyler Mahle

Tyler Mahle makes his first start since coming over to the Twins from the Reds for a package of three prospects. Mahle has had an inconsistent year, but he was a valuable piece of the Reds’ rotation last season with a 3.75 ERA over 180 IP. The 27-year-old has seen his ERA dip to 4.40 this season, though a 3.61 FIP and typical 1.25 WHIP indicate he’s effectively been the same pitcher as he was in 2021. Getting out of hitter-friendly Cincinnati will also help boost those numbers. Mahle has only allowed an average of 4 hits over his last 4 outings and has a 2.83 ERA over his last 9 starts.

Mahle is prone to control issues but hasn’t been giving up many hits, which would be helpful against a powerful Blue Jays lineup. Toronto had an .856 OPS in June and a .785 OPS in July, with power declining but contact rising in July. The Blue Jays hit .288 last month, breaking out after manager Charlie Montoyo was fired, but the offense has slipped a bit lately with 3.1 runs/game over their last seven. While Matt Chapman and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have both been hot, the bottom of the order – Alejandro Kirk, Santiago Espinal, Raimel Tapia – has struggled mightily. Just as concerning is George Springer’s elbow injury, which kept him out of Toronto’s series against the Rays and could threaten his status in Minnesota. You still have to be careful anytime you bet against an offense with this much depth.

Minnesota Twins Starting Lineup

1B L. Arraez L
SS C. Correa R
CF B. Buxton R
2B J. Polanco S
DH J. Miranda R
3B G. Urshela R
C G. Sanchez R
LF N. Gordon L
RF J. Cave L

Minnesota Twins vs. Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios will face his former team for the second time this season, and he comes into this start with much more momentum than the last time. Berrios’ season numbers are still ugly – he has a 4.96 ERA and 4.63 WHIP through 21 starts while flashing a career-worst strikeout rate and a 1.32 WHIP. That’s still a step better than what his line looked like at the start of July, a month that finally allowed him to pitch like himself again. Berrios has a 3.00 ERA over his last six starts, allowing 3-or-fewer runs in each while walking a total of just 7 batters. This is the Jose Berrios the Blue Jays need if they want to make a deep postseason run.

Berrios allowed 2 runs but struck out 13 when he faced the Twins in June. He’ll be in pitcher-friendly Target Field this time, which could allow him to maintain his recent success. The Twins’ lineup won’t be an easy task considering how well Byron Buxton and rookie Jose Miranda have hit lately. Already a top-10 offense in terms of runs and OPS, Miranda’s breakout month has helped keep the Twins atop the AL Central and overcome struggles by Jorge Polanco. That pair will be worth watching against homer-happy Berrios. As a pitcher who’s been prone to contact this year, Berrios will have to watch for ultimate contact hitter Luis Arraez. This matchup all comes down to which Jose Berrios the Twins face. Is it the one from July? If that’s the case, runs won’t come so easily.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins Picks & Prediction

My Pick: Twins Moneyline

The Blue Jays have never faced Tyler Mahle, who’s been pitching well lately and should be energized by a fresh start with a contending team. I think Mahle gives the Twins a nice start in his team debut, extending the Blue Jays’ stretch of offensive inconsistency. The Twins struggled against Jose Berrios last time out but are healthier now and should know him well enough to put some runs on the board. Minnesota has the slight upper hand in this one.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and recent graduate of Boston University. He created @allsportsnews on Instagram when he was 12 and continues to post sports news and rankings daily.

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