This series has arrived at the perfect time for the Toronto Blue Jays. With John Gibbons’ side languishing in fourth spot in the American League East, a potential whitewash triumph over the Detroit Tigers could give Toronto the boost needed to push on and enjoy a successful campaign. The Tigers have lost eight of their last 10 matches at the time of writing and the Blue Jays faithful will be expecting big things ahead of this weekend’s series.
Back Against The Blue Jays At Your Peril
Toronto had won five and lost five ahead of last weekend’s series against the Los Angeles Angels and their form remains the same – five victories, five defeats. Blue Jays supporters are frustrated after a couple of inconsistent years and time is running out for Gibbons at Rogers Centre. The Canadian franchise have struggled to inspire confidence in recent times and Gibbons has to take his share of the blame for Toronto’s woes.
Nobody is expecting Toronto to go on and embark on a 20-game unbeaten run; Blue Jays fans have dreams but they are one of the fairest fan bases around. Reaching the playoffs is an absolute must for Gibbons this year though or he could find himself looking for a new job at the end of the campaign. 2018 was supposed to be Toronto’s year to step up on the big stage but nothing has really gone to plan – it has been the same old story at Rogers Centre.
KEY MAN: Yangervis Solarte. Toronto fans were hoping that Solarte’s red-hot form would continue into June but he has struggled to emulate those figures in recent weeks. Despite that, he still sits at the top of the Blue Jays roster in home runs, runs scored and RBI. Solarte is a real talent and he could step up and regain his best form this weekend; only a fool would write him off.
Tigers Having A Mid-Season Crisis
After a solid enough start to the campaign, Detroit’s form has tailed off. The Tigers have lost eight Major League Baseball games in a row – EIGHT in a row. Detroit have the talent to get back to their brilliant best and still make the playoffs but overcoming a rotten run of form like that will not be easy. Toronto will smell blood and the Tigers could be up against it from the start this weekend.
The entire Detroit organisation is in a right state. The Tigers sacked their pitching coach on Thursday morning and that only plays into the hands of Toronto ahead of this weekend. It could be a long series for the Tigers but their loss is very much Toronto’s gain.
KEY MAN: Leonys Martin. Arguably Detroit’s main man with the bat this year, the 30-year-old could make the difference for the Tigers. Is Martin capable of leading Detroit to a series victory at Rogers Centre? It is hard to look past Toronto in the opener – although Martin will be looking for a strong start to the weekend and he could flourish from there.
The Blue Jays should be too strong for Detroit here; Toronto will be confident of winning the series but getting off to the perfect start with a victory in the opener is key. From there, fans will be almost expecting a series triumph – Detroit’s losing run could hit double figures this weekend. Toronto have the quality to put the Tigers to the sword and a couple of victories could change the entire complexion at Rogers Centre ahead of an important week.
BLUE JAYS 5-2 TIGERS