Guardians (61-69) vs. Blue Jays (71-58) Match-Up Preview | 8/27 1:37 PM EST

August 27, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Toronto Blue Jays

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Thor!

Noah Syndergaard is on the mound for the Guardians on Sunday.  Syndergaard pitched well in his last outing throwing a quality start for Cleveland going six innings while giving up three runs. 

2 – Season Series 

With a win on Sunday, the Guardians can win the season series with the Blue Jays. 

3 – Flexing Muscles 

Cleveland has been enjoying their time in Canada with five home runs so far in the two games and from five different Guardians hitters. 

Guardians Notes

Cleveland’s chances of making a meaningful push for the postseason seem to have dwindled significantly within their division race. While not entirely out of contention, a substantial change in fortunes will be necessary for them to surpass Minnesota in the AL Central rankings.

The Guardians are averaging 4.01 runs per game, placing them 28th in this statistic, and their batting performance stands at .249 (17th), accompanied by a .690 OPS (27th). Their home run count of 96 places them at the 30th position, but their base-stealing prowess ranks a respectable 7th with 106 stolen bases during the 2023 season. On the pitching front, Cleveland’s staff has maintained a solid 3.78 ERA (3rd) along with a 1.28 WHIP (16th), complemented by 48 quality starts, positioning them 13th in this category.

Taking the mound for the visiting team at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon will be Syndergaard, fondly known as “Thor.” In his most recent outing against his former team, he delivered an impressive performance, limiting the Dodgers to three runs and four hits across six innings of play. However, his performance has showcased inconsistency since his trade to Cleveland from LA. Notably, he conceded ten runs against the White Sox and Reds, along with four runs each against the Blue Jays and Dodgers.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • The Guardians are sending Syndergaard (2-6) to the mound to make his 18th start of the season. He is 2-6 with a 6.42 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings pitched.
  • The right-hander last appeared on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, when he threw six innings, allowing three earned runs while giving up four hits.
  • Syndergaard has put up 11 starts this year in which he pitched five or more innings.
  • In one of his appearances this season, he did not surrender an earned run.
  • The Guardians have been the underdog on the money line in seven of Syndergaard’s starts this season, and they went 2-5 in those games.
  • Syndergaard’s team has a 6-11 record in his starts this season.
  • Syndergaard’s starts hit the over on the run total 11 times in 17 games with a set total this season.


  • They are 19-6 this season when they hit two or more home runs in a game.
  • Cleveland has won 18 of its 23 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have won 41 of the 78 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • 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

Toronto finds itself on the outside observing the American League Wild Card landscape. However, there remains ample opportunity for this situation to evolve. Can the Canadian team maintain a consistent performance level to secure a spot in the postseason?

The Blue Jays maintain an average of 4.43 runs per game (ranked 17th), boasting a batting average of .257 (ranked 8th), and a .741 OPS (ranked 14th). Their home run count stands at 150 (ranked 18th), accompanied by 82 stolen bases (ranked 19th) in the year 2023.

In terms of pitching, the Toronto staff boasts an impressive 3.69 ERA (ranked 1st), complemented by a 1.24 WHIP (ranked 6th), and an impressive count of 58 quality starts (ranked 5th).

Taking the mound for the Jays in Sunday’s series finale is Kikuchi. His recent performance against Cleveland on August 8 showcased his commendable skills, allowing only one run and three hits over seven innings, despite being charged with the loss. Throughout August, the seasoned left-hander has conceded merely six runs across four outings, limiting six of his last seven opponents to either one or no runs.

Blue Jays Stats and Insights


  • Kikuchi and his team have a record of 16-9-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The left-hander gave up three earned runs and allowed seven hits in 4 2/3 innings pitched against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
  • In 25 starts, Kikuchi has pitched through or past the fifth inning 17 times. He has a season average of 5.3 frames per outing.
  • He has finished four appearances without allowing an earned run in 25 chances this season.
  • Kikuchi’s team has been victorious in 66.7% of the games he’s started as the money line favorite with a record of 10-5.
  • Kikuchi’s team has a 17-8 record in his starts this season.
  • Games Kikuchi has started this season hit over 10 times in 25 chances.


  • The Blue Jays have a 28-13 record this season in games when they hit two or more homers.
  • Toronto is 20-5 in games this season when it has had at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club has notched eight or more hits in 95 games this season, and is 63-32 in those contests.
  • Toronto is 50-13 in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Blue Jays have drawn at least five walks in 32 games this season, and are 22-10 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Blue Jays need victories, and after dropping Friday’s series opener, winning on Saturday. Kikuchi has been as dependable as it comes on the mound, and I don’t see that changing today at home. This season, he’s 5-1 in day game starts and boasts a 3.24 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in his 11 home starts. Syndergaard isn’t the pitcher he once was, and that shows every couple of outings, but especially on the road. He’s 0-3 with a 9.37 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in eight road starts this year.

Toronto hits .270 BA/.348 OBP/.430 SLG/.778 OPS in its day games, averaging 5.2 runs per game. Cleveland hits just .229/.292/.351/.644 vs. left-handed pitchers and isn’t enjoying its at-bats in August (.226/.285/.344/.629 at the plate this month).

I’m betting on a quality start from Kikuchi and plenty of scoring from the Jays lineup to cover the run line.

Our Pick: Take Blue Jays and the Run Line

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