Guardians (61-68) vs. Blue Jays (70-58) Match-Up Preview | 8/26 3:07 PM EST

August 26, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 Against the Toronto Blue Jays

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Lefty Logan 

Logan Allen is on the mound Saturday afternoon against Toronto.  Allen faced the Blue Jays earlier this month in a loss while only giving up one run in five innings. 

2 – Super Stephan 

Guardians reliever Trevor Stephan is going to hate to see August go away as he has only given up one run this month in nine innings of relief. 

3 – Brennan Scratched 

Will Brennan was slated in the Cleveland lineup on Friday night as the DH but was a late scratch with a knee strain.  The injury occurred on Thursday against the Dodgers as Brennan made a catch colliding into the wall. 

Guardians Notes

The Guardians’ offensive performance has been somewhat lackluster, averaging 4.00 runs per game, a ranking that places them 28th in the league. Their batting average of .249 positions them 17th, accompanied by an OPS of .688, which positions them at 27th. Their power-hitting has also been limited, as indicated by their 30th rank in home runs with 93, despite their more encouraging standing of 7th in stolen bases with 106 in the 2023 season.

In contrast, the Cleveland pitching staff has been a stronger asset, boasting a commendable 3.80 ERA, placing them 4th in the league in this regard. Their WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) stands at 1.28, positioning them 16th, while they’ve managed to secure 47 quality starts, positioning them 13th in that category.

Looking ahead to Saturday afternoon’s game, Allen is set to take the mound for Cleveland. In his most recent start, the emerging rookie southpaw surrendered a total of two runs on four hits across six innings against Detroit. His performance throughout the month of August has been notably impressive, as he contained four opponents to a mere five runs over a span of 23.0 innings pitched. This stretch encompasses an outing against the Blue Jays, where he pitched for five innings, conceding just one run on four hits and three walks.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Allen (6-6) takes the mound first for the Guardians in his 20th start of the season. He’s put together a 3.31 ERA in 103 1/3 innings pitched, with 100 strikeouts.
  • In his most recent time out on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, the left-hander tossed six innings, allowing two earned runs while surrendering four hits.
  • Allen will look to go five or more innings for his eighth straight appearance. He’s averaging 5.4 innings per outing.
  • In five of his 19 total appearances this season, he has not allowed an earned run.
  • The Guardians have been the moneyline underdog in 10 of Allen’s starts this season, and they went 7-3 in those games.
  • Allen’s team is 12-7 in his 19 starts.
  • Allen has started 19 contests with a total set by bookmakers this season. The teams have combined to hit the over in six of them.


  • They have won 19 of the 24 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Cleveland has gone 18-5 this season when collecting five or more extra-base hits as a team.
  • In 78 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 41-37.
  • Cleveland has won 36 of its 46 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • In 29 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 17-12

Blue Jays Notes

The Toronto Blue Jays have been averaging 4.45 runs per game (16th rank), achieving a batting average of .257 (9th rank) along with a .741 OPS (13th rank). Their performance includes hitting 148 home runs (18th rank) and stealing 82 bases (19th rank) during the 2023 season. On the pitching side, the Toronto team has showcased remarkable stats, boasting a 3.68 ERA (1st rank) and a 1.24 WHIP (7th rank), complemented by 58 quality starts (5th rank).

Taking the mound for the Blue Jays in the Saturday afternoon game will be Ryu, a veteran left-handed pitcher. Ryu has made a total of four appearances since his return from the injured list in August. Impressively, he managed to hold his last three opponents scoreless, a stark contrast to his initial start of the year when he conceded four runs. Ryu’s recent performance has been commendable, as he secured consecutive victories by limiting the Cubs to just two hits across five innings and striking out seven batters while allowing four hits against the Reds.

It’s worth noting that although Ryu did give up two runs each to Chicago and Cincinnati, those runs were classified as unearned runs.

Blue Jays Stats and Insights


  • Ryu’s team is 3-1-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The left-hander last pitched on Sunday, when he gave up no earned runs and allowed four hits in five innings against the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Ryu will look to finish five or more innings for the third start in a row.
  • He is looking for his fourth appearance in a row with no earned runs allowed.
  • Ryu’s team has won 75% of his starts when they are favored on the money line (3-1).
  • Ryu’s team has a 3-1 record in his starts this season.
  • Out of Ryu’s four starts with a total this season, three have hit the over.


  • The Blue Jays have hit at least two round-trippers in 41 games this season, and are 28-13 in those outings.
  • Toronto is 19-5 in games this season when it has had five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club has put up at least eight hits in 94 games this season, and is 62-32 in those contests.
  • Toronto is 49-13 in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Blue Jays are 22-10 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Toronto has slipped from the final Wild Card position and must defeat the expected opponents to reenter the playoff contention. The subpar Guardians certainly fit that description!

When facing left-handed pitchers this season, Cleveland has struggled at the plate, batting only .229 BA/.292 OBP/.352 SLG/.644 OPS. Ryu has been in good form since his return from the Injured List, and I have a strong belief that he will perform well against a struggling Guardians lineup. In August, the Guardians’ batting performance has been at its lowest point this season, with a slash line of .225/.285/.331/.616.

The Blue Jays boast an impressive .275/.347/.416/.763 record against left-handed pitchers and .270/.348/.430/.778 in day games. Although Allen managed to limit them to one run earlier this month, it was sufficient for the Blue Jays to secure a victory on the road. Anticipating a higher run output from Toronto on Friday, I expect Ryu to receive ample run support.

With the money line set at -170, it seems too steep for my preference. Given the Blue Jays’ batting advantage, I’m confident they will secure a victory by a margin greater than one run. Therefore, I find the best value in placing a bet on Toronto to cover the spread at +120.

Our Pick: Take Blue Jays and the Run Line

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