Jays From the Couch gets you set for the upcoming series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins
After losing 2 out of 3 to the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays, they now head west to Minnesota to play the top team in the Central in the Minnesota Twins. In the 9 series at Target Field, the Blue Jays have won 4, the Twins have won twice and they’ve split the series 3 times. As the Blue Jays teams of the past have loved to play at Target field, this is an enjoyable stop for the Bluebirds.
Will this be the Series Vlad makes his debut?
Now that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been Designated for Assignment, it is unclear who is coming up while I am writing this. The likelihood is that it will not be Vlad Jr., although it would be cool if he made his Major League debut the same day as Jackie Robinson. I’m going to say no, but I’ve been proven wrong before.
The Twins Offence
Offensively the Twins have seen inconsistency to say the least. The team average this season is .268, with Jorge Polanco leading the way at clean up with a .372 and Byron Buxton with a .300 average. The Twins have problems the first time around the order as the 1st and 2nd innings struggle compared to other innings. In addition they have a hole in the 6th slot of their lineup which statistically is 50 points lower than everywhere else in the line up. Buxton is known to steal, having swiped three bags already, so expect some small ball these next couple of games.
Pitching and Defence
Their pitching has been off to say the least, with a team ERA of 4.27 expect the Blue Jays to pounce as their ace Jose Berrios will not be pitching this series. The pitchers have been more of a fly ball team, which is good for the Blue Jays as they have players who can hit the long ball. The Blue Jays also should expect a lot of pitches, as almost 36% of at bats against the Twins end in either a strikeout (23.7%) or a walk (11.6%). So the Blue Jays should wait for the right pitch, because it will come. As the bullpen is weaker than the rotation, they should get to them early and often. The pitching staff gives up an average of 7 hits a game, they will have the chance to dig deep and show what they can do.
Notable things going on
Today is Jackie Robinson Day, which has always been a special day in baseball. In recent memory the Blue Jays have shown some theatrics on Jackie Robinson day. It was this day 4 years ago where we came to know the legendary fielding skills of Kevin Pillar as he robbed Tim Beckham at the Rogers Centre. Also rookie manager Rocco Baldelli is going against rookie manager Charlie Montoyo, so it will be interesting to see if there are any managerial mistakes. Oh, and both were part of the Rays organization last year.
I’m expecting the Blue Jays to win at least two games in this series, with a good chance of winning three as the Blue Jays tend to find offensive luck at Target Field and the Twins pitching core has not been the greatest. I expect a better performance from Trent Thornton than what happened last Friday, and hopefully a great sequel from Clay Buchholz. Make sure you can stay up an hour later than usual.
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