On Sunday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays (62-54, 31-30 away) conclude its three-game American League series against the Seattle Mariners (63-55, 37-24 home). Seattle took the first two contests, 3-2 and 9-3, between the two franchises.
The first pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. EST at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, WA. According to the books, the Blue Jays are a slight favorite (-110), and the run total is at 8.5.
What to Know – Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto finds itself in a three-game losing skid after winning eight of ten during the first few weeks of August. The Blue Jays are still in the playoff hunt, 4.5 games back of the second wild-card spot in the AL. Toronto sits in fourth, a tough AL East division.
The expected starter for the visitors is left-hander Steven Matz (9-7, 4.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP). Matz has been brilliant in a pair of starts this month with a 1.69 earned run average over 10.2 innings of work. The 30-year old surrendered two earned runs on six hits, three walks, and five strikeouts over 4.2 innings in his last trip to the mound.
The Blue Jays have one of the best offenses in the majors-leading in slugging percentage (.456) and sixth in on-base percentage (.328). Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. headlines the offense leading the team in batting average (.315), home runs (35), and RBIs (88). Shortstop Marcus Semien has put together another career season at the plate, hitting 26 home runs and 69 RBIs through 116 games.
What to Know – Seattle Mariners
This year, the Mariners have been one of the surprise teams after many analysts projected Seattle to finish near the bottom of the AL West division. Seattle’s won four in a row and are now only 4.5 games outside of an AL wild-card spot. The Mariners are eight games back of the Astros in the standings.
On the mound for the Mariners is projected to be Logan Gilbert (5-3, 4.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). The 24-year old rookie makes his third start of the month in search of his first victory. Gilbert tossed 6.0 innings in his last outing, allowing two earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
Seattle’s offense ranks near the bottom of the league in both on-base percentage (.299) and slugging (.383). Third baseman Kyle Seager has hit 25 home runs and driven in 72 runs, both numbers on pace to become career-highs for the veteran. When healthy, outfielder Mitch Haniger is a threat at the plate, leading the Mariners with 26 home runs.
The Pick is In
Toronto and Seattle meet for the final time this season on Sunday, with both teams trying to keep their postseason chances alive. This month, the Blue Jays have been one of the better teams and have the better starter on the mound.
Given Toronto’s recent play, it is hard to imagine the Blue Jays dropping three straight to the Mariners. The Blue Jays bounce back after a pair of losses in this one to take the series finale.