The Toronto Blue Jays will look to win their four-game series versus the Cleveland Indians Thursday night after the offense pitched in and picked up some important wins in the series' second and third games.
The Jays are winners of six of their last seven and have won five of their six games since returning to the Rogers Centre for the first time since 2019. Toronto opened as -175 favorites for the series finale, with the total set at 9.5 and leaning to the Over.
Here are our free picks and predictions for Indians vs. Blue Jays on Thursday, August 5, with first pitch set for 7:07 p.m. ET.
Indians vs Blue Jays game info
• Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
• Date: Thursday, August 5, 2021
• Time: 7:07 p.m. ET
• TV: Rogers Sportsnet, Bally Sports Great Lakes
Indians vs Blue Jays odds
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Indians vs Blue Jays betting preview
Triston McKenzie (1-4, 6.11 ERA): The rookie right-hander has allowed 13 runs over his last 14 innings (three starts) and is coming off a six-run outing that lasted just four innings against the White Sox. McKenzie has been susceptible to the long ball as well, serving up six over his last three starts — including a three-pack to Chicago last week. McKenzie does have good stuff and when he is on he is hard to hit, as he has three scoreless starts this year. The problem is those games are few and far between.
Ross Stripling (4-6, 4.75 ERA): Stripling has settled down after a disastrous start to the second half that saw him give up six runs while recording just one out. He has bounced back by giving up three runs over his last two starts with a 7:1 K/BB ratio. Since June 1, the Jays are 5-5 SU in Stripling’s starts and while the pitcher owns a 4.46 ERA over that stretch, it does include that six-run clunker. Stripling held the Tribe to just one run on two hits over five innings in a 4-1 win back on May 30.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Indians: Josh Naylor OF (Out), Roberto Perez C (Questionable).
Blue Jays: Danny Jansen C (Out), Cavan Biggio IF (Out), Joakim Soria RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Indians are 0-5 SU in their last five games vs. a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Indians vs. Blue Jays.
Run line pick
The Jays come into the series finale having won six of their last seven and five of six since returning home to the Rogers Centre. The books have been high on Toronto since returning to Canada, as its average price on the moneyline has been -220 since July 30.
The Toronto offense will get to face a struggling right-hander for the second straight day as the Indians will start Triston McKenzie. McKenzie has a ton of potential but the results have not been there to date. The rookie has allowed five or more runs in six of his 14 starts, plus the tall drink of water also has a 6.75 ERA on the road this year, where opponents have a .865 OPS — versus a .621 OPS when McKenzie is at home.
Thursday’s game feels awfully similar to Wednesday’s game from a handicapping perspective, which could be a bad thing for the Tribe. The Jays’ offense has woken from a brief slumber to score 15 runs over the last two days.
No batter in baseball is hotter than Toronto’s George Springer, who had a four-hit performance last night and is slashing .517/.559/1.103 over the last seven days with 10 runs and four homers. This is a scary lineup right now and the addition of the left-handed-hitting Corey Dickerson to the bottom of the order makes it even more formidable.
Stripling has had a few terrible starts inflate his overall numbers as the veteran right-hander has been decent in the majority of his starts. Stripling has a 4.88 ERA “at home” this year but those starts came at the launching pads known as Sahlen Field and TD Ballpark. He allows just a hit per inning, doesn’t walk many batters, and has a 2.66 ERA in his wins.
We aren’t getting off this Jays’ wagon, even with the shaky performance of the bullpen over the last three days. The Jays have won by more than one run in 20 straight wins and we’re jumping on the run line once again.
PREDICTION: Toronto -1.5 (-105)
Yesterday’s game closed with a total of 9.5 in a match that featured a pair of struggling pitchers in Steven Matz and J.C. Mejia. That game had eight runs after three innings and finished 8-6 in favor of the Jays. With another 9.5 on Thursday, we’re having trouble talking ourselves out of the Over yet again.
The Jays come into Thursday’s match with an offense that is slashing .274/.335/.509 in the second half. That .844 OPS is the best second-half mark in the MLB and they're striking out at a low rate (less than 19 percent) and also have the best wRC+ in baseball.
Vladdy Guerrero may be losing ground to Shohei Ohtani in the AL MVP race, but that doesn’t mean the 22-year-old Isn't still raking. He still owns a .969 OPS over the last 30 days with 10 taters, while outfielder George Springer has been even hotter at the dish and is enjoying hitting at Rogers Center — as he has a 1.674 OPS through six games there heading into Thursday's contest.
McKenzie could be in trouble and suffer a similar fate like the pair of starters before him. Cleveland starters have allowed 14 runs over the last two games and have totaled just 7 1-3 innings of work.
We understand that we may need the Jays to do most of the leg work in this total, but Stripling does have six walks over his last two starts despite positive results. The Tribe may get a couple of freebies with the Jays’ bullpen that, albeit retooled, is still showing inconsistencies.
Cleveland could score more than expected, after potting six runs across the final two innings last night and not giving away at-bats after trailing 8-0 early.
PREDICTION: Over 9.5 (-115)
Indians vs Blue Jays betting card
- Toronto -1.5 (-105)
- Over 9.5 (-115)
Picks made on 8/5/2021 at 5:08 a.m. ET
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