Blue Jays vs Twins Picks and Predictions: Toronto Takes Game 1 in Minnesota

Coming off a two-game split against the Rays, the Blue Jays are in Minneapolis tonight for the first of a four-game set against the Twins. We like Jays' ace Alek Manoah to lead Toronto to a road win — read why in our Blue Jays vs. Twins betting picks.

Last Updated: Aug 4, 2022 4:20 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Alek Manoah Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays continue their nine-game road trip when they open a four-game set against the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins tonight at Target Field.

Game 1 has all the makings of a pitcher’s duel as Alek Manoah toes the rubber against Sonny Gray. The Jays are slight road favorites for this AL throwdown, but is there value with Twins as home underdogs after the team bolstered its roster at the trade deadline?

Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Blue Jays vs. Twins on Thursday, August 4.

Blue Jays vs Twins odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Blue Jays opened this AL matchup as roughly -125 road favorites, and the line hasn’t seen much movement yet. The total hit the board at 8.0, and the early money has come in on the Over with that number either juiced or moving to 8.5 as of Thursday afternoon.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Blue Jays vs Twins predictions

Picks made on 8/04/2022 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Blue Jays vs Twins game info

Location: Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Date: Thursday, August 4, 2022
First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet, Bally Sports

Blue Jays vs Twins betting preview

Starting pitchers

Alek Manoah (11-5, 2.43 ERA): Manoah survived a scare in his last start when he took a comebacker off his throwing arm. Overall though, it shortened an outing that wasn’t one of his best, in which he allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. It was only the third time the right-hander gave up more than three earned runs this season.

Sonny Gray (6-3, 3.41 ERA): Gray has bounced back from a couple of rough starts with consecutive solid outings, limiting the Tigers and Padres to a combined two earned runs on seven hits while striking out 12 over 11 innings of work.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 7-0 in the Blue Jays' last seven games overall and 12-3-1 in the Twins' last 16 games at home. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. Twins

Blue Jays vs Twins picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Blue Jays have excelled under interim John Schneider, going 12-4 since moving on from Charlie Montoyo. But most of those games have come against lesser competition, and Minnesota will be a good test for Toronto.

The Twins come into this game 5-5 over their last 10 games, but they made some significant moves at the trade deadline, particularly bolstering their bullpen with the Orioles’ Jorge Lopez and the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer. However, at a moneyline price of -125, we are getting value with the Blue Jays.

It all starts with Manoah, of course. He owns a solid expected ERA of 3.12 while limiting opponents to a .225 expected batting average. He mixes a fastball, sinker, and slider well to keep hitters off balance and create a lot of soft contact. Manoah currently ranks in the Top 4% of the MLB in hard-hit rate. 

While the Twins have some solid numbers when facing right-handers this season, this is a team that still is just a mediocre 55-49 for the season, in which most of their success has come against divisional opponents in what is arguably the worst division in baseball. 

On the other side, Sonny Gray has been good, not great, pitching to an xERA of 3.49 while surrendering a .240 xBA to opponents. Tonight, he’s got to deal with what has been the best offense in baseball for more than two months.

The Blue Jays lead the MLB in batting average, OPS, and wRC+ since the start of June. They also lead the MLB in batting average and are third in OPS vs. right-handers this season.

The Jays have the edge in starting pitching and batting, with the Twins having a slight edge in the bullpen. All things considered, the Jays should be favorites closer to -140 and are getting downgraded a bit because they are on the road against the division-leading Twins. The value lies with the road team.

Prediction: Blue Jays moneyline (-125 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

When it comes to the total, the early money has driven the number up. And let ‘em keep doing it because the Under is the side to like here. This game features two solid starting pitchers, and they should have the edge over the hitters in this one.

Manoah is going to want to bounce back after a performance that wasn’t one of his best. This is the fourth time he will be making a start this season after a game in which he allowed three or more earned runs, and he has followed each of those games up with a gem.

One was six scoreless frames against the Royals, allowing two runs on five hits over 6 2-3 innings against the Twins, and holding the Mariners to two runs on three hits in 7 1-3 vs. the Mariners. Manoah is a competitor, and he should bounce back here. 

Meanwhile, Gray will be in tough against a very good Jays lineup, but he does a good job of limiting home runs, giving up just seven on the season. If he can keep the Jays in the park, they may not be able to put up crooked numbers. 

On top of that, both teams made moves to improve their bullpens at the trade deadline. At 8.5, the number is high enough to side with the Under.

Prediction: Under 8.5 (-114 at FanDuel)

Best bet

The starters will be the story of this game, or at least early on. Manoah has surrendered two runs or fewer in 16 of his 20 starts and is averaging 6.3 innings per appearance on the bump.

Gray has done the same in 11 of his 15 starts, and while he generally doesn’t work as deep into games as Manoah, he has averaged 5.4 innings of work over his last 11. Bet the Under first five innings in this one.

Pick: Under 4.5 first five innings (-128 at FanDuel)

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