Guardians (54-59) vs. Blue Jays (64-50) Game Preview | 8/8 7:10 PM

August 8, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 of the Series Against the Toronto Blue Jays

3 Things Preview For Todays Game:

1 – Believe in Bibee 

The Guardians have lost eight out of ten and will be leaning on rookie star Tanner Bibee to turn it around on Tuesday night.  Bibee has a record of 7-2 and has not lost a start since June 13th, making him the right candidate to turn this around.  

2 – Checking In

Cleveland traded away Amed Rosario, Aaron Civale, and Josh Bell, let’s take a look at how they are doing:

  • Amed Rosario – In the month of August, .217 average with two home runs and eight RBIs.  
  • Aaron Civale – one start going 4 1/3 innings giving up three runs on nine hits in a loss to the Tigers on Saturday.
  • Josh Bell – .304 average with one home run and two RBIs.

3 – David Fry IL, Welcome Laureano

David Fry will be hitting the IL later today as he has a strained left hamstring from he did a full split at first base on Friday night making a catch on a throw.  A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano was claimed off waivers on Monday and will be in the dugout on Tuesday night for the Guards. 

Guardians Notes

Tanner Bibee is set to step onto the pitcher’s mound. In his previous start, Bibee displayed a strong performance, allowing only two runs over five innings against the formidable Astros lineup. However, despite his efforts, the Guardians couldn’t secure a win in that game. Despite being a rookie, Bibee’s current season has been exceptional. He has limited opponents to more than three runs in a single game just once throughout the season. With a remarkable 3.14 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, a 7-2 record in 94.2 innings pitched, and 95 strikeouts, Bibee has made a notable impact. Notably, this will be his inaugural face-off against the Blue Jays.

Cleveland finds itself in need of series victories, as they have fallen 5.5 games behind the leading Minnesota team in the AL Central division. The Guardians have encountered setbacks, having recently lost two consecutive series. They were swept on the road by the Astros and managed to win only two out of three home games against the White Sox over the weekend. This has led to a record of 3-7 in their last ten games.

Given the absence of Naylor due to injury and Ramirez’s likely suspension for this series, the Guardians must source offensive contributions from unexpected places. Oscar Gonzalez, who displayed promise in 91 games last season, has struggled to find his rhythm this year. He has managed only five RBIs and a .584 OPS across 33 games. However, there is a silver lining, as Gonzalez has reported a robust .892 OPS in the current month.

Cleveland’s offensive struggles are evident, as they have averaged 4.08 runs per game this season, ranking 26th in the league. On the other hand, their pitching staff has performed admirably, maintaining a team ERA of 3.84, which places them in the seventh position across the league.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Bibee gets the start for the Guardians, his 18th of the season. He is 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 95 strikeouts over 94 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last appearance on Wednesday against the Houston Astros, the righty threw five innings, allowing two earned runs while surrendering seven hits.
  • Bibee will try to build on a nine-game streak of going five or more innings (he’s averaging 5.5 frames per appearance).
  • He has held his opponents without an earned run in two of his 17 outings this season.
  • The Guardians are 3-7 in Bibee’s 10 starts this season they were the underdog on the money line.
  • Bibee’s team has a 9-8 record in his starts this season.
  • Bibee has started 17 games with a total set by bookmakers this season. The teams have combined to hit the over in seven of them.


  • They have won 16 of the 21 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • In 21 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 16-5.
  • In 69 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 38-31.
  • In 41 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 33-8.
  • They have won 15 of their 26 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Blue Jays Notes

Yusei Kikuchi is set to take the mound on Tuesday evening. In his previous outing, Kikuchi showcased his excellence by holding the powerful Orioles to just one run over six innings, earning himself a well-deserved victory. As of late, the experienced left-handed pitcher has been the most dependable starter for the Jays, keeping his opponents to either zero or one run across four consecutive games. His stats for the year include a 3.67 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and an impressive 9-3 record, having pitched 115.1 innings. Notably, Kikuchi has displayed dominance over the Guardians, allowing only four runs in 20 innings, although his record against them stands at 0-1.

Currently occupying the final wildcard position, Toronto has built a comfortable 2.5-game lead over the teams trailing them. This advantage was secured after a successful road sweep of the Red Sox over the weekend. The Blue Jays have emerged victorious in three out of their last four series, with their sole series loss during that period being against the Orioles. Over their past ten games, the team holds a 7-3 record.

The performance of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. holds significant importance for the Blue Jays. Although he has exhibited moments of inconsistency, the 24-year-old power hitter possesses the capability to single-handedly drive the team’s offense. In the early days of August, Guerrero contributed three RBIs and maintained a .577 OPS. His season stats include 18 home runs, 69 RBIs, and a .783 OPS. Notably, he managed to secure three RBIs and a .733 OPS when facing Cleveland last season.

Toronto’s offensive performance has been inconsistent, averaging 4.57 runs per game, ranking them 15th in the league. However, their pitching staff remains a strong suit, boasting a team ERA of 3.80, which positions them in fourth place in the league.

Blue Jays Stats and Insights


  • Kikuchi’s team is 14-8-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The left-hander last pitched on Wednesday, when he gave up one earned run and allowed six hits in six innings against the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Kikuchi has three starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • He has four appearances with no earned runs allowed in 22 chances this season.
  • When Kikuchi starts a game and his team is the favorite on the money line, they have a record of 10-4.
  • Kikuchi’s team has won 15 of his 22 starts this season.
  • In Kikuchi’s 22 starts with a total, the teams have hit the over nine times.


  • The Blue Jays are 26-12 this season in games when they hit two or more long balls.
  • Toronto has gone 18-5 in its 23 games this season with at least five extra-base hits.
  • The team has notched eight or more hits in 86 games this season, and is 57-29 in those contests.
  • Toronto has a 46-13 record in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Blue Jays have drawn at least five walks in 30 games this season, and are 20-10 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Blue Jays have displayed stronger performance on the road in recent matchups. They secured victory in two successive road series, winning two out of three games against the Dodgers and achieving a clean sweep against the Red Sox. Additionally, they clinched a 3-1 win on Monday. In contrast, the Guardians have struggled, losing eight out of their last ten contests.

Moreover, Yusei Kikuchi, the starting pitcher for the Blue Jays, has delivered outstanding performances by allowing either zero or just one run in his last four consecutive outings. This remarkable streak includes matches against both the Dodgers and Orioles. Notably, the Blue Jays have emerged victorious in four out of Kikuchi’s last five starts. On the other side, the Guardians’ starter, Tanner Bibee, is a rookie who will face a seasoned lineup. Unfortunately, Bibee has surrendered three home runs in his last two starts, which could prove challenging against the Blue Jays’ offense. Furthermore, there is uncertainty about the participation of Jose Ramirez for the Guardians, as he is currently appealing a suspension.

Our Pick: Take Blue Jays and the Money Line

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