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Toronto Blue Jays vs Detroit Tigers Odds, Predictions & Starting Pitchers (May 23)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in MLB Baseball

Updated May 23, 2024 · 10:12 AM PDT

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman walking off the mound
May 11, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) walks towards the dugout against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
  • Winners of three of four, the Blue Jays look to build some momentum as they start a four-game series with the Tigers
  • Detroit has lost four straight entering play on Thursday
  • See the Toronto Blue Jays vs Detroit Tigers odds, predictions, and starting pitchers on May 23

Once upon a time, the Detroit Tigers (23-26, 10-13 home) were the last undefeated team in the majors this season. That’s ancient history now as the Tigers have lost four straight and fallen three games under .500 in the process. On Thursday night, the Tigers welcome the Toronto Blue Jays (22-26, 10-14 away) to Comerica Park for a 6:40 pm ET start in the first game of a four-game series.

The pitching matchup for the series opener is a dandy with Kevin Gausman for Toronto opposite Jack Flaherty for Detroit. The Blue Jays vs Tigers odds are a near pick’em with the Tigers slightly favored.

Toronto Blue Jays vs Detroit Tigers Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Toronto Blue Jays (Gausman) -105 -1.5 (+165) O 7.5 (-115)
Detroit Tigers (Flaherty) -115 +1.5 (-200) U 7.5 (-105)

Thursday’s MLB odds list the Tigers as slight -115 home favorites with the Blue Jays at -105 to win. The run total is at just 7.5 in the pitcher-friendly Comerica Park with the over slightly favored (-115o/-105u).

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The Blue Jays currently sit last in the AL East, already 10.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees, but only 3.5 out of the final Wild Card berth in the AL. The Tigers are fourth in the AL Central, 9.5 games behind the Guardians and three out of a Wild Card berth.

Toronto is currently a +4000 longshot to win the AL East in the MLB division odds while the Tigers are as long as +1900 to win the Central.

Toronto vs Detroit Starting Pitchers

After finishing third in Cy Young voting last year (and top ten each of the last three season), Kevin Gausman is off to a rough start in 2024. His ERA is an inflated 4.89 and his xERA is even worse (5.40). His K/9 has dropped from 11.53 last year to just 9.14 over his first nine starts.  His average fastball velocity is down from 94.6 to 93.8.

From April 17 to May 4, he had a run of four straight starts of at least 5.0 innings and no more than one earned run allowed. But over this last two starts, he’s surrendered nine runs in just 9.0 innings of work, allowing 18 hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts.

Gausman’s numbers against the Detroit lineup he’ll be facing on Thursday are rock solid. In 77 total at-bats, Tiger hitters are slashing just .221/.286/.351 with two home runs, two doubles, 24 strikeouts, and seven walks. The long balls belong to Javy Baez and Kerry Carpenter.

Kevin Gausman vs Jack Flaherty

2-3 Record 4-1
4.89 ERA 3.79
5.40 xERA 2.91
1.51 WHIP 1.06
22.6% SO% 33.0%

On the Detroit side, Jack Flaherty seems to be regaining the form that made him a Cy Young contender when he  was with St Louis early in his career. Flaherty’s ERA this season (3.79) is the lowest its been since 2021. If he can maintain his K9 of 11.9, it will be the best mark he’s ever recorded. (His previous best was 10.9.)

Flaherty is currently on a streak of four straight starts of at least 6.0 innings and no more than three runs, surrendering seven earned runs in total over 25.1 innings in that span.

Flaherty’s numbers against the Jays’ lineup are phenomenal. Toronto’s lineup his just a .152 average against the 6’4 righty in 53 at-bats. Justin Turner has the only home run.

Blue Jays vs Tigers Prediction

With Flaherty pitching as well as he has in years, it’s hard to back a Blue Jays’ offense that’s been relatively anemic all season (182 runs scored, second-worst in the majors). But I also expect much better from Gausman than we’ve seen in his last two starts. He looked to be in his Cy Young-caliber form a couple weeks ago and he has the luxury of facing a Detroit lineup that sits 28th in wOBA and 27th in wRC+.

The only bet I’m comfortable making in this game is on the under. Due to Toronto’s bullpen struggles, I am going to stick with the first 5 innings under on 3.5 at plus-money (+114).

TOR vs DET picks: First 5 innings under 3.5 (+114)

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