The Blue Jays have struggled in recent weeks, losing four of their last seven Major League Baseball games. However, Toronto have performed well against the Seattle Mariners so far this season, winning all four matches in May’s mini-series at Rogers Centre.
With that in mind, the Canadian side will be quietly confident of picking up a positive result here – and it would take a brave man to back against them considering Seattle’s struggles in this fixture.
Since losing to the Boston Red Sox on May 27th, Seattle have been in sublime form and the Blue Jays will need to be at their brilliant best to combat the Mariners here. Scott Servais’ men have won nine of their previous 10 MLB fixtures and plenty of punters will be looking at the form guide ahead of this contest.
Toronto Blue Jays
Despite their recent struggles, Toronto are still a solid franchise and manager John Gibbons will be proud of his team’s efforts this campaign. The Blue Jays are 33/1 with 888Sport to win the World Series but they struggled to get going early on in the season before finding their feet since a number of key players returned from injury.
Two wins against the New York Yankees earlier this month showed just how good the Blue Jays can be but consistency still haunts their progress. With a 12-17 away record, they have potential to turn up on the road but there have been too many blowout defeats.
KEY MAN: JOSH DONALDSON. The difference maker for Toronto in their 7-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics. In the tenth innings, he hit a two-run homer to lead his side to glory in what was a very important encounter for rebuilding momentum and confidence.
The former Oakland man started his senior career out in the Bay Area but has been a Blue Jay since 2015. If he can get back to his brilliant best, Toronto will stand a great chance of climbing the American League East in the second half of the regular season.
KEY MAN: JUSTIN SMOAK. Once again, Smoak makes this list and that is down to his own efforts with the bat. He has been playing at an elite level for the most part of May and he has carried that form into June, much to the relief of Toronto supporters.
Against the Athletics, Smoak hit two more home runs to take his tally to 17 home runs for the campaign. At the age of 30, he is having a breakout year and Blue Jays fans are loving it. Will it continue? Possibly not but for now, Toronto will let Smoak do his thing.
Seattle are the American League’s hottest team right now and Toronto will be wary of the dangerous threat that they pose. The Mariners have that winning feeling going and they don’t know when to stop and that can only mean positive things for a franchise in dire need of a morale boost.
At home, Seattle have won 19 of their 29 games this season and Toronto will be up against it when they visit Safeco Field this weekend. The Blue Jays were excellent on the road earlier in the campaign but their form has fallen away in recent weeks.
The Mariners will take some stopping in this series and Toronto will be put to the test. Given the opportunity, Seattle are capable of going toe to toe with anybody in the MLB and plenty of punters will be backing the Mariners for long term glory this season.
KEY MAN: MIKE ZUNINO. Since being recalled to the Seattle lineup, Zunino has been on another level. With a wRC+ rating of 130, he has been central to their recent success and he played an important role once again in the 6-5 triumph against the Minnesota Twins earlier this week.
In the ninth innings, Zunino hit a two-run homer to put the Mariners in the driving seat and Seattle were able to withstand some late Minnesota pressure to secure the win. If he is able to maintain his current form, Toronto may struggle to contain him.
A difficult one to call. Toronto’s recent record against Seattle deserves plenty of respect but this Mariners side are bang in form right now and that could swing the tie in their favour. On paper, there isn’t too much between the two sides but the hosts might just edge it. Form and confidence are key to success in Major League Baseball and Seattle are at the peak of their powers right now. It will be close but the Mariners should prevail.
BLUE JAYS 4-5 MARINERS