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Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Guardians

Oddsmakers expect a pitching duel on Friday night when Kevin Gausman (2-1, 2.27 ERA) and the Toronto Blue Jays continue their series against Shane Bieber (1-1, 2.45 ERA) and the Cleveland Guardians. The O/U for this tilt is just 6.5 runs.

Cleveland took the opener 6-5 on Thursday night, but the Blue Jays are still a -135 favorite on the road in game two. That does put some value on the Guardians at +125 at home and with Bieber on the mound.

Toronto Slipping in the Standings

The Blue Jays were a -151 favorite with Jose Berrios on the mound on Thursday, but their 6-5 loss wasn’t that shocking coming off an emotional series with the Yankees. Toronto’s 2-1 win over New York on Wednesday night snapped the Yankees 11-game win streak, and the Blue Jays seemed to have an emotional hangover in the series opener in Cleveland.

Toronto did get HRs from Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and Alejandro Kirk on Thursday night, as well as a 3-5 night from Bo Bichette, but it still wasn’t enough to overcome Cleveland. The solid offensive outing was still something to be optimistic about, though, especially for a Blue Jays team that was held to three runs or less in seven of the previous eight games.

Cleveland Steals Opener

The Guardians were a +139 underdog in Thursday’s series opener, but that was a tough wager to make with Cleveland coming off a doubleheader split over San Diego on Wednesday at Progressive Field. Terry Francona used eight relievers in the two games against the Padres, but Aaron Civale picked up some of that slack pitching into the 6th inning in Thursday’s win over Toronto.

Steven Kwan hit his first MLB home run on Thursday night to power Cleveland to the win, but runs may be harder to come by in game two. Toronto starter Gausman has allowed 2 ER or less in his last four starts (with 8+ K’s in each), while Bieber has allowed 1 ER or less in three of his five outings this season.

Blue Jays at Guardians Pick and Prediction

Toronto is garnering a majority of the public wagering action even after dropping the series opener and being priced at -135. The Blue Jays are 6-5 in road games this season, while Cleveland has gone 5-4 at Progressive Field.

There likely won’t be a ton of scoring in the first 6+ innings of Friday night’s contest. Only four Cleveland batters have ever faced Gausman, while Toronto’s roster is just 4-25 (.151) as a team vs. Bieber.

This contest ends up being a toss-up game, but Cleveland’s offense is the one to trust based on recent results. The Guardians have scored 5+ runs in 5 of their last 7, while the Blue Jays have been held to 3 or less in 7 of their previous 9. With Bieber on the bump and the Guardians home underdogs, they become the play in Friday night’s matchup.

Pick: Cleveland +125

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