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Jays Welcome Tigers For Weekend Series

Will R.A. Dickey lead the Blue Jays to victory on Friday?

Will R.A. Dickey lead the Blue Jays to victory on Friday?

Postseason hopefuls collide Friday as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Detroit Tigers in the first of a three-game set north of the border.

First pitch at Rogers Centre in Toronto is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET.

20140807_AL_CentralDetroit (62-50, 32-23 road) arrives in Canada on the back of a disappointing road series against the New York Yankees.

Despite sporting one of the best road records in baseball, the Tigers were clipped 3-1 in the four-game series in the Bronx, culminating with a 1-0 loss in Thursday’s series finale.

The Tigers remain atop the AL Central ahead of the Kansas City Royals, but what was a comfortable seven-game lead on July 24 has now slid down to 2 1/2 games. Another excursion like the one in New York – which saw the team score just six runs in four games – could see the club slide further down a dangerous precipice.

20140807_AL_EastToronto (61-55, 31-25 home) also enters the game looking to bounce back from a series loss.

On Thursday, the Jays fell 2-1 to the Al East-leading Baltimore Orioles in the rubber game of a three-game set. Prior to that, John Gibbons’ side lost three straight against the lowly Houston Astros, meaning the club is just 1-5 since the calendar flipped over to August.

The Jays know what it’s like to throwaway a division lead. On June 6, the club was six games to the good in the AL East. Now the side is five games back of Orioles, sitting in a virtual tie with the Yankees.

In terms of the wild card picture, the Jays – currently sitting outside the berths – are one of five teams within one-half game of a berth. The Tigers could join that picture if their woes continue.

While Friday night’s game and this weekend’s series in general aren’t quite important enough to be labelled ‘must win’, losses could really hurt both sides.

Pitching Matchup

R.A. Dickey (9-11, 4.03 ERA) will take the mound for the home team.

The 39-year-old knuckleballer was roughed up against the Astros last time out, allowing five runs on nine hits through seven innings. The Jays lost the game 8-2 and Dickey saw his two-game winning streak come to a close.

  • Dickey is 6-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 16 career games (9 starts) vs. the Detroit Tigers
  • Dickey is 16-11 with a 4.79 ERA in 35 career games (33 starts) at Rogers Centre
  • Dickey is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 1 game (1 start) vs. the Detroit Tigers this season
  • Dickey is 6-3 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 games (12 starts) at Rogers Centre this season

Anibal Sanchez (8-5, 3.37 ERA) will toe the rubber for the away club.

Sanchez has flip-flopped wins and losses over his last six starts, picking up the W last time out as he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Colorado Rockies on August 3. In his previous two starts, the 30-year-old right-hander had allowed five runs in each.

  • Sanchez is 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 5 career games (5 starts) vs. the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Sanchez is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 1 career game (1 start) at Rogers Centre
  • Sanchez is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 1 game (1 start) vs. the Detroit Tigers this season
  • Sanchez has not previously played at Rogers Centre this season


Tigers’ outfielder Torii Hunter (hand) and shortstop Eugenio Sanchez (knee) are both listed as day-to-day.

Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera (elbow) is also listed as day-to-day, while Edwin Encarnacion (quadriceps), Dan Johnson (hamstring), Brett Lawrie (back) and Adam Lind (foot) all remain on the 15-day DL.

Can Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers bounce back from a tough series in New York?

Can Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers bounce back from a tough series in New York?

Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays odds for 08/08/2014

Detroit (-127) opened as the road favorite over Toronto (+117).

While the Blue Jays recorded a three-game sweep in the Motor City in June, the club has lost three straight and four of the last five while entertaining the Tigers.

Some other trends to consider:

  • Detroit is 39-30 in night games
  • Toronto is 42-32 in night games
  • Detroit is 12-11 vs. AL East opponents
  • Toronto is 13-13 vs. AL Central opponents
  • Detroit is 38-35 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Toronto is 46-39 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Detroit is 4-3 since August 1
  • Toronto is 1-5 since August 1
  • Detroit is 9-12 since the All-Star break
  • Toronto is 12-8 since the All-Star break

The total opened at 8 and has jumped to 8 1/2 since.

While the total may have gone under in Detroit’s last five road games and four of Toronto’s last six home games, this is a matchup that generally favors the over.

The total has gone over in eight of the last 10 head-to-head matchups between the sides. It’s also gone over in eight of the last 12 the two clubs have played north of the border.


Following Friday night’s series opener, the Tigers and Blue Jays will continue the series with games on Saturday (1:07 p.m. ET) and Sunday (1:07 p.m. ET).


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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