AL Wild Card Series Game 1: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins odds, picks and predictions

Skip Snow
Staff Writer

The Toronto Blue Jays (89-73) and Minnesota Twins (87-75) meet Tuesday to open a best-of-3 AL Wild Card Series. First pitch at Target Field in Minneapolis is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN). Let's analyze FanDuel Sportsbook's  lines around the Blue Jays vs. Twinsodds and make our expert MLB picks and predictions for the best bets.

Season series: Tied 3-3

Toronto scuffled over the last few weeks of the season, going 10-19 with a .684 OPS since Sept. 11. Toronto sports a lesser lineup than perhaps what was expected, but the Jays have been above average with their pitching and defense. Their 4.14 runs per game (RPG) rank 6th in the league.

The Twins re tied for MLB's 3rd-best runs-allowed figure (4.07 RPG). The  AL Central champions edged the Jays 28-26 in scoring over their 3-3 split during the season.

Blue Jays at Twins projected starters

RHP Kevin Gausman vs. RHP Pablo Lopez

Gausman made 31starts in the regular season. He was 12-9 with a 3.16 ERA, while logging a 1.18 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.5 K/9 in 185 innings.

  • Last start: No-decision, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K in 2-0 home loss vs. the New York Yankees last Tuesday; pitched 13 shutout innings over his last 2 regular-season starts
  • 2023 road stats: 7-5, 3.27 ERA in 85 1/3 IP across 15 starts; owns a 2.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP on the road over the last 3 season
  • Career vs. Twins: 1-4, 6.35 ERA in 56 2/3  IP (2014-23)
  • Owns a 4.57 ERA in 21 2/3 career postseason innings

Lopez made 32 starts in the regular season, going 11-8 with a 3.66 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9 and 10.9 K/9 in 194 innings.

  • Last start: No-decision, 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K in 6-4 home win vs. the Oakland Athletics Wednesday
  • 2023 home stats: 5-3, 4.21 ERA in 98 1/3 IP
  • Career vs. Blue Jays: 1-0, 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 IP
  • In 5 career postseason IP: 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K

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Blue Jays at Twins odds

Provided by FanDuel Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines updated at 1:03 a.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Blue Jays +104 (bet $100 to win $104) | Twins -122 (bet $122 to win $100)
  • Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Blue Jays +1.5 (-220) | Twins -1.5 (+180)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 7.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Blue Jays at Twins picks and predictions


Twins 4, Blue Jays 3


Minnesota is 8-3 over its last 11 games and 4-2 across its last 4 at home.

Gausman has a solid ERA of late (2.86 over last 6 starts), but that figure is buoyed by some kind rates around the margins. The veteran right-hander has not been hit hard lately, but he is prone to more fly balls and spells of more frequent barreled contact.

The Twins have averaged 4.80 runs per game while allowing 4.07. Their overall record has been hurt by an inexplicable 19-27 mark in 1-run games. But Minnesota has had the better bullpen over the last month or so.

The price here offers value: BACK MINNESOTA (+104).

Run line/Against the spread

Look to the Moneyline for slightly better value in this one: PASS.


The season analytic numbers for these clubs reveal they have both slightly overperformed in run prevention while underperforming at the plate. In a vacuum, or especially with some starting pitching slated toward an Over, that would be the lean.

That's not the case for Game 1 with this particular pair of starters.


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