Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction & Pick

The Detroit Tigers don't have much to play for, but the Blue Jays are still trying to hunt down a Wild Card spot. Jason Radowitz breaks down his Tigers vs. Blue Jays prediction
Jason Radowitz
Fri, August 20, 5:09 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction & Pick

Friday, August 20 – 7:07pm EST

Rogers Centre

Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays Probable Pitchers

  • Tigers: Tyler Alexander (2-2, 4.57 ERA)
  • Blue Jays: Robbie Ray (9-5, 2.88 ERA)

Click here to see Tigers @ Blue Jays odds

Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction

The Blue Jays are going to be without their lead off hitter and big off-season signing for the second time this season. George Springer is on the shelf and some fear the Blue Jays will struggle offensively because of his absence.

The Blue Jays have the perfect opportunity to pile on a couple wins against the Detroit Tigers, facing a left-handed pitcher in the first game of the series.

It’ll be Tyler Alexander on the mound and currently he’s got a 4.57 ERA with a 2-2 record for the Tigers.

Alexander is coming off a game against the Indians where he went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks. For one, Alexander has kept walks low recently. However, he also hasn’t really pitched past the 5th inning in any start, with just one game going 5.1 innings.

In the last 30 days, Alexander has an xFIP of 5.48 with a strikeout rate of 17.4 percent. He’s been able to limit walks but is getting 32.4 percent ground balls along with allowing 49.3 percent hard contact.

The left-hander has faced 86 righties in the last 30 days and has allowed a .333 wOBA and ISO of .210 against righties. He’s also only struck out 15.1 percent of those batters.

The Blue Jays lineup figures to have all nine right-handed bats in the lineup. Sure, there’s no Springer but they will have righties like Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernandez and so forth.

The projected lineup hasn’t shown much power against lefties recently but they’ve been able to put the ball in play and keep the ball off the ground. That’s going to help change things. The lineup has struck out just 12.8 percent of the time against lefties in the last 30 days and they’ve also been patient, thanks to a 12.3 percent walk rate during the same time frame.

So while the Blue Jays have an ISO of .145 against lefties in the last 30 days, they’ve also secured a .360 wOBA and are getting on base at a very high rate thanks to that low strikeout rate and high walk rate.

Alexander is a little bit above average when it comes to holding base runners. He’s leaving 74 percent of runners on base but his ERA and FIP are about the same, showing he is what his stats say.

If the Blue Jays want to make the playoffs, their bats are going to have to heat up behind Bichette and Guerrero Jr., who have both struggled against lefties as of late. In the season, their numbers are still solid, it’s just been a little harder for them recently.

Against Alexander, I like the Jays to get out of their own way and start slugging again. Alexander throws strikes but doesn’t get strikeouts. This is the perfect opportunity for the Blue Jays to wait on their pitch and do damage.

The price is high for a reason, but I like the Blue Jays to get there in the first five innings. We’ll take the Over 3 in the first five innings for the Blue Jays. If they score just three, it’s a push. One more gives us the win.

MLB Bet: Blue Jays F5 TT Over 3 @ -105

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