Cleveland Guardians vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Jun 13, 2024

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Milwaukee Brewers

The Toronto Blue Jays are back at Rogers Centre on Friday as they prepare to open a weekend series against the Cleveland Guardians.

Cleveland
58-37
AT
June 14, 2024, 7:07 PM ET
Rogers Centre
Toronto
44-52
Runline +1.5 -165
Moneyline +120
Over / Under o +7.5

0%

Betting Action

53%

Runline -1.5 +140
Moneyline -145
Over / Under u +7.5

0%

Betting Action

53%

Friday starts a six-game homestand for the Blue Jays as they welcome the shockingly good Cleveland Guardians, who are comfortably leading the AL Central Division. Toronto is a -130 favourite on the MLB odds for the opener behind Kevin Gausman.

Betting Analysis

Baseball can be such a weird game. Expectations weren’t all that high for the Cleveland Guardians this season after the club went 76-86 last year and saw potential future Hall of Fame manager Terry Francona retire. Then ace Shane Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner, went down to season-ending Tommy John in April after only two starts.

Yet the Guardians have a solid lead atop the AL Central under first-year manager and former big-league catcher Stephen Vogt – a lot of backstops tend to become managers in the Show but not usually as quick as Vogt. He retired as a player only after the 2022 season after a 10-year major league career that included two All-Star appearances. Vogt spent last year as a bullpen and quality control coach for the Seattle Mariners.

Like most of Francona’s clubs, the 2024 Guardians are winning largely with pitching and defence. The rotation is good, but the bullpen is among the best in the majors. Cleveland was 4-3 vs. Toronto last season and 2-2 at home.

Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 4-2 home loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday. The Guardians have the fewest home losses in the majors with eight but also are a terrific road team at 22-15. Jose Ramirez remains one of the best offensive third basemen in baseball as he’s hitting .276 with 18 homers, 62 RBIs and 11 steals. Outfielder and leadoff hitter Steven Kwan would lead the majors by far with his .380 average and is healthy now but doesn’t qualify for the MLB leaderboard as he has only played in 40 games due to injury.

Lefty Logan Allen (6-3, 5.57) pitches Friday. He tends to be very hit-or-miss this season. Two starts ago, for example, he was shelled at Colorado but last time out held the Marlins to two runs over six in a no-decision. Allen is 4-3 with a 4.57 ERA on the road. He is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two career starts vs. the Jays. Davis Schneider is 2-for-2 off him with a homer and double.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays made a minor trade this week in sending Cavan Biggio, once expected to be the team’s second baseman of the future, to the Dodgers in exchange for minor-league pitcher Braydon Fisher. Biggio had been designated for assignment last week for the Jays, so getting even a low-level prospect is a solid return. Toronto went 3-3 on its six-game road trip to Oakland and Milwaukee with two of the losses by one run. Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier exited Tuesday’s game against the Brewers with a bruised right knee and sat Wednesday. The defensive specialist is day-to-day.

It’s right-hander Kevin Gausman (5-4, 4.00 ERA) on the mound Friday. As good as Gausman has been in his career at times, he never had a complete-game shutout until last Saturday in Oakland in which he allowed just five hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk. It was his fourth quality start in the past five overall. Gausman is 4-2 with a 1.86 ERA on the road but 1-2 with a 6.68 ERA in six home starts. He is 4-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 47.1 career innings vs. Cleveland. All-Star Jose Ramirez is 4-for-20 off him with five strikeouts.

MLB Prediction: Who Will Win Guardians vs. Blue Jays?

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