by Max - 05/27/05
Two teams with winning records square off Friday night, opening a three-game series at Rogers Centre. This is a big series for both teams, as neither wants a bad showing facing the possibility of dropping further behind in the standing. Both teams will showcase their aces and former Cy Young winners. I look for a very competitive series with numerous close and low scoring games.
The two teams faced each other eight days ago with the Twins taking the final two games at the Metrodome. This series concluded with a brilliant pitching performance by Joe Mays, who shutout the Blue Jays, 4-0. Mays is scheduled to see action Sunday and I expect a low number and anther dominating performance. He will collect his fourth victory on the season.
Friday night features the current Cy Young winner Johan Santana. The Jays upset Santana last week, but I do not expect that to happen again. He is outstanding on the road with a 4-0 record and an E.R.A. of 3.18. Opponents are hitting a mere .233 against Santana away from the dome.
Toronto has been one of the early surprises this season and they enter this game with a 25-22 record. They are in the thick of things to challenge the big boys for the AL East Division Title. One thing that has not been a surprise is the dominating presense of former Cy Young winner Roy Halladay. Halladay is 7-2 on the season and has an impressive E.R.A. of 2.84. He has the ability to go deep into games and in his ten starts; he has finished three games. Six innings has been his shortest outing of the year and he will toe the rubber on Saturday in game two.
I expect this to be a series dominated by pitching and I will side with the Twins in all three games. This includes Saturday night, when Sota should be a substantial underdog going up against Halladay. One key factor is the bullpen, where the edge clearly lies with the Twins. They have Joe Nathan available to close game, whereas Toronto has a converted starting pitcher in Miguel Batista as their closer.
Doc's Sports is on a 5-1 run in their last two weekend series previews and look for more of the same, as the Twins will dominate this series North of the Border. I will be playing them in all three games of this set.