Cleveland Guardians vs. Toronto Blue Jays Betting Preview May 8

Cleveland Guardians vs. Toronto Blue Jays Betting Preview May 8

Cole Paganelli
2 years ago
3 min read
Guardians Steven Kwan and Austin Hedges celebrate

Sunday afternoon features the finale of a four-game series between the Toronto Blue Jays (17-12) and the Cleveland Guardians (13-14). The Guardians will host this one at Progressive Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:40 pm ET.

After taking the first game on Thursday, the two teams split a doubleheader on Saturday. The Blue Jays took the first game 8-3, but the Guardians bounced back with an 8-2 win in the second game.

Kevin Gausman picked up the win for the Blue Jays in Game 1, and George Springer went two for five with three runs batted in. For the Guardians, Shane Bieber took the loss giving up seven runs in just 3.1 innings.

In the second game, Triston McKenzie was dominant, going six innings and giving up just two runs. Franmil Reyes hit his third home run of the season for Cleveland. For Toronto, Ross Stripling took the loss after giving up four runs in four innings.

The Blue Jays are the favorite to win the finale despite playing on the road. They are -205 to win while the Guardians’ moneyline sits at +172. The runline features Cleveland +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is 7.5.

Pitching Matchup

The Blue Jays will send 24-year-old right Alek Manoah to the mound Sunday. He has been dominant in five games, going 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and has 32 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

The Guardians will counter with lefty Konnor Pilkington. This will be the first start of his career, although he has pitched five scoreless innings in relief.

By The Numbers

Cleveland currently ranks fourth in runs per game this season, averaging 4.68 (4.33 at home). The Blue Jays rank 20th, averaging 3.78 runs (3.45 on the road).

Defensively, it is Toronto with the advantage. They rank 15th in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 4.07 runs per game (3.18 on the road). The Guardians rank 23rd, allowing 4.36 runs (4.00 at home).

Blue Jays Look To Secure Series Split

After dropping two of the first three, Toronto is hoping to get out of Cleveland Sunday with a series split. Luckily, they have one of their best starts on the mound in Alek Manoah, who has dominated throughout the early portion of the season.

Offensively, this will be the first time that any Blue Jays’ player has faced Konnor Pilkington. Against lefties this season, the Blue Jays are hitting .235/.313/.383 with four home runs and 15 runs batted in.

Against lefties, Bo Bichette and Santiago Espinal have been especially lethal. Bichette is hitting .357 with a home run and three runs batted in, while Espinal is hitting .368 against southpaws with a home run and four doubles.

Cleveland Looks To Get To .500

At 13-14, the Cleveland Guardians sit third in the AL Central, 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins. On Sunday, they will look to secure a series win against Toronto while also trying to get back to .500 overall.

This will be the first time that Cleveland has faced off with Alek Manoah, but Jose Ramirez has absolutely crushed righties thus far this season. In 70 at bats against righties, he is hitting .371/.464/.729 with five home runs and 20 runs batted in.

Andres Gimenez has also hit right-handed pitchers well. Against them, he is hitting .364/.368/.600 with two home runs and 13 runs batted in.

Cleveland Looks To Youngster To Secure Series Win

Having taken two of three from the Blue Jays already, Cleveland has put themselves in a good spot to pick up a home series win and move back to .500 on Sunday.

Youngster Konnor Pilkington will have a tall task as he makes his first start for Cleveland as he faces off with another 24-year-old in Alek Manoah.

With how dominant Manoah has been thus far, Pilkington will have to really minimize the damage from a potent Blue Jays’ lineup. If he can keep this competitive, though, the Guardians may be able to scratch enough runs across to pick up the win.

It won’t be easy, but as the No. 4 ranked offense right now, Cleveland’s bats might be up to the task.

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