Guardians (54-58) vs. Blue Jays (63-50) Game Preview | 8/7 7:10 PM

August 7, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of the Series Against the Toronto Blue Jays

3 Things Preview For Todays Game:

1 – Gaga for Gavin 

Our Guardians need a win badly, and hopefully, rookie Gavin Williams can get it done.  Williams pitched well in his last inning in a losing effort against the Astros, going five strong while giving up two runs against the talented Houston lineup. 

2 – AL Central Check-in

The Twins are sadly starting to build a lead, as they are now 4.5 games up on the Guardians.  Add to the fact that the Guardians have one of the toughest schedules remaining, along with the injuries to the pitching staff and Josh Naylor; it makes for a stressful time for Cleveland baseball regarding the Central race.  They need to start winning games, like now. 

3 – Suspensions Looming 

MLB should be coming down today with suspensions from the brawl on Saturday.  A suspension is likely for star player Jose Ramirez.

Guardians Notes

After securing a victory against the White Sox in the opening game of their series, the Guardians stumbled with consecutive losses. Their mission now is to break this losing streak by triumphing over the Blue Jays, aiming for their fourth win in the last six games played at home.

Cleveland maintains an average of 4.09 runs per game, while their batting average of .251 places them in the 16th spot within the league. The team’s on-base percentage stands at .314, ranking 22nd, and their slugging percentage of .382 positions them at 27th.

At the forefront of the Guardians’ batting achievements is Josh Naylor, boasting a notable .306 batting average and an impressive 79 RBIs. Meanwhile, in the home run category, Jose Ramirez leads the team with 18 homers.

On the pitching front, Cleveland has exhibited a commendable performance, allowing an average of 4.11 runs per game. Opponents have managed a .243 batting average when facing the Guardians, placing Cleveland in the 11th spot in the league. The team’s ERA of 3.86 stands ninth, while their WHIP of 1.28 ranks 18th.

In his most recent outing, Gavin Williams yielded four hits and two runs across five innings, culminating in a 2-0 defeat against Houston. A solid performance from him on the mound, combined with an improved offensive effort, will be essential if the team aspires to secure a victory.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Last start: Loss, 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K in 2-0 road loss vs. the Houston Astros Tuesday
  • 2023 home splits: 1-1, 4.21 ERA (25 2/3 IP, 12 ER – 4 HR), .273 OBA in 5 starts


  • The Guardians have a team slugging % of .382 and they are earning 4.09 runs per outing (27th in the league). They have hit 198 doubles while getting a free base 320 times and earning 446 runs. Cleveland has hit 82 home runs over the course of the season as well as 419 RBIs. They have been rung up on 756 instances (30th in the league) and have a total of 934 base hits. The Cleveland Guardians have compiled an OBP of .314 in addition to a batting average of .251 over the course of the season.

Blue Jays Notes

Following the end of their three-game losing streak, the Blue Jays have demonstrated strong performance, securing victory in four out of their most recent five games. Seeking to maintain this positive momentum, they are poised to face off against the Guardians, aiming for a fourth consecutive win and their fifth triumph in the last six games.

Toronto has maintained an average of 4.49 runs per game, showcasing their offensive prowess. Their batting average of .260 positions them fifth in the league, while their on-base percentage of .330 ranks seventh. Additionally, their slugging percentage stands at .419, placing them at the 11th spot.

At the forefront of the Blue Jays’ batting achievements is Bo Bichette, who boasts an impressive .321 batting average. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the team in home runs with 18 and RBI with 69.

The pitching performance of the Toronto team has been commendable, conceding an average of 4.10 runs per game. Opposing teams hold a .243 batting average against the Blue Jays, positioning them 12th in the league. With a 3.82 ERA, they occupy the sixth spot, while their 1.27 WHIP ranks 11th.

In his recent outing, Hyun Jin Ryu faced challenges, surrendering nine hits and four runs over five innings, ultimately resulting in a 13-3 loss to Baltimore. To secure a victory in the upcoming game, an improved performance from Ryu will be essential.

Blue Jays Stats and Insights


  • Last start: Loss, 5 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 K in a 13-3 home loss vs. the Orioles Tuesday
  • 2022 road splits: 1-0, 2.79 ERA (9 2/3 IP, 3 ER – 1 HR), .270 opponent batting average (OBA) in 2 starts


  • The Blue Jays have tallied 194 two-baggers as a squad and have hit 126 balls out of the park. Toronto is slugging .417 and has been called out on strikes 880 times while taking a walk on 357 occasions. As a squad, the Toronto Blue Jays are compiling 4.5 runs per outing, which puts them at 15th in MLB. They have 464 runs batted in addition to 968 base knocks on the season, and their batting average is at .259. They have racked up 490 runs scored while holding a team OBP of .329.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Guardians have emerged victorious in three out of their previous five home matches. Despite facing offensive challenges in their recent trio of games and managing a mere 11 runs in their prior series, their offensive performance is anticipated to shine in the upcoming game. This assumption stems from their strong track record against left-handed pitchers, coupled with Ryu’s lackluster performance in his initial start of the season, where he conceded four runs. Toronto’s bullpen has also exhibited inconsistencies in recent matchups, implying that they might struggle to curtail the Guardians’ offensive prowess in this forthcoming game.

As for the Blue Jays, they have divided their most recent eight contests. Although they have exhibited commendable offensive prowess by scoring a total of 24 runs across their last three away games, it’s worth noting that the majority of these runs were accumulated in their most recent outing. Anticipation of offensive struggles looms over their performance in the impending game. This expectation is primarily rooted in Gavin Williams‘ impressive pitching displays for the Guardians in recent starts. He has surrendered merely three runs in his last three starts and conceded only one run during his past two home appearances. Furthermore, Cleveland boasts the sixth-strongest bullpen in the league, which is likely to effectively contain Toronto’s offensive efforts.

Considering these factors, it is advisable to lean towards Cleveland in terms of covering the money line.

Our Pick: Take Guardians and the Money Line

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