The Toronto Blue Jays (+160), one of the most productive offenses in baseball, are set to host the Seattle Mariners (-190) at Rogers Centre on Friday for the opener of their American League Wild Card series. The early total was set at 7 runs (O: -105 | U: -115). The Mariners (90-72) won three out of four in their last series against the Tigers, taking the finale 5-4 on Wednesday at T-Mobile Park. Mitch Haniger was 2 for 3 with a home run and two runs. Luis Torrens added a home run and two RBIs. The Blue Jays (92-70) won two of three against the Orioles in their last series, ending the series by splitting both games of a doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday. They followed up a 5-4 loss in the opener with a 5-1 win in the finale. Gabriel Moreno went 2 for 3 with two runs in the second leg.
The Mariners won five of seven in the regular season series between the teams, including a 6-5 victory in their most recent meeting on July 10 at T-Mobile Park. Reliever Matt Festa was credited with the win after throwing one scoreless inning, and Paul Sewald picked up his 10th save with a scoreless ninth.
ON THE MOUND
Luis Castillo (8-6, 2.99 ERA) is slated to start for Seattle. The righty allowed one run over six innings in his last start, a 5-1 home win over the Athletics on Saturday. He earned the win, giving up two hits while striking out eight and walking one. Castillo has made one previous start against the Blue Jays this season, a 2-1 road loss on May 20. He surrendered two runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out five. RHP Alek Manoah (16-7, 2.24 ERA) will toe the rubber for Toronto. He has made one prior start against the Mariners this season, giving up two runs over 7.1 innings in a 2-1 road defeat on July 9. He gave up three hits and walked four, while striking out seven in the loss. In his last start on September 30, Manoah got the win at home against the Red Sox. He threw six scoreless innings and gave up two hits, striking out four and walking two in the 9-0 triumph. The righty ranks third in the AL in ERA and tied for third in wins.
AT THE PLATE
The Seattle offense is averaging 4.3 runs per game for the season, with a slash line of .230/.315/.390. Julio Rodriguez leads the team in OPS at .853. The center fielder is slashing .284/.345/.509 with 28 home runs, 75 RBIs, and 84 runs over 132 games. Over the last five games, however, Seattle has averaged 5.4 runs a game while slashing better across the board (.269/.335/.427). Against right-handed pitchers like Manoah this season, the M’s have a .702 OPS. Rodriguez also is the team’s best performer against right-handers with a .860 OPS in 391 at-bats. Toronto is slashing .264/.329/.431 for the season and averaging 4.8 runs per game, fourth best in the league. Four Blue Jays hitters have an OPS of .800 or better, led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.818). The first baseman has 32 home runs, 97 RBIs, and 90 runs scored with a slash line of .274/.339/.480. Toronto is averaging 6.0 runs per game in the last five with a higher slash line (.343/.394/.500). The Jays have a .762 OPS against right-handers in 2022, second highest in MLB. With a .841 OPS over 528 at-bats, Guerrero Jr. also has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Seattle is 44-37 on the road in 2022, scoring 4.6 runs per game while allowing 4.0 runs. Toronto has won three in a row at their home ballpark. The Jays are 47-34 at home this season, averaging 4.4 runs per game while surrendering 4.4. The teams have split their last 10 meetings at Rogers Centre, though Seattle has the scoring advantage with an average final margin of 3.9-3.1.
The Mariners finished second in the AL West. The Blue Jays were second in the AL East.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Toronto Blue Jays (-140)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.