New York took the series opener by a score of 6-5 on Tuesday night. These clubs are currently in a tight battle in the AL East that has four teams within striking distance of each other. The Yankees have a slight half-game lead over the Blue Jays heading into this exciting divisional battle. Toronto has owned this head-to-head series lately with wins in eight of the last 12 games between these clubs.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Yankees-Blue Jays odds.
MLB Odds: Yankees-Blue Jays Odds
New York Yankees +1.5 (-105)
Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-115)
Over 8.5 Runs (-120)
Under 8.5 Runs (-100)
Why The Yankees Could Cover The Spread
The Yankees are trying to dig their way out of an early-season mess as they are just 34-32 through the first 66 games. The Yankees have been one of the best offensive clubs in baseball over the past five seasons, so the major regression this season barely makes sense. New York didn’t make many personnel moves this past offseason, but currently average just 3.91 runs per game. Luckily, the Yankees are still in the playoff hunt thanks to a top-10 pitching staff.
New York will turn to right-hander Gerrit Cole for the second game of this series. The Yankees ace is turning in another great season with a 7-3 record and 2.31 ERA through 13 starts. He has struck out a whopping 113 batters to date as well. Cole was impressive in his most recent start against the Minnesota Twins, striking out nine and allowing just two solo home runs over six innings of work. The Yankees right-hander will see Toronto for the third time of the season.
Why The Blue Jays Could Cover The Spread
The Blue Jays are steadily progressing in the right direction. Their lineup is clicking on all cylinders thanks to a plethora of young power bats like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio, to name a few. The Blue Jays are currently averaging 5.03 runs per game, which is the fourth-best mark in baseball. The unfortunate situation that this team has dealt with for the past two seasons is their lack of a home ball park. COVID-19 has forced this club to play home games in Florida and now Buffalo, which doesn’t provide a stable home with an added boost from their fan base.
Toronto will turn to right-hander Ross Stripling for the second game of this series. Stripling is 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 49 strikeouts through his first 10 appearances this season. The Blue Jays right-hander allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings of work in his last start on Friday. Stripling pitched better than the stat line suggests and is in the midst of a nice little resurgence of late following his rough start to the season.
Final Yankees-Blue Jays Prediction & Pick
I am going to roll with the under in a game that features a lot of big-name offensive players. I expect a low-scoring affair because of the fact that Gerrit Cole is on the bump. The Yankees should be able to limit the Blue Jays with a loaded bullpen behind Cole as well. Ross Stripling has been steadily improving and now gets a chance to face a struggling lineup in what should be a pitcher’s duel. I see a tight affair that becomes a battle of the bullpens late.
FINAL PICK: Under 8.5 Runs (-110)