MLB Picks: Yankees at Blue Jays Odds and Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 7/14/2011
The Yankees and Blue Jays will square off tonight as both teams start the second half of the season. Derek Jeter made all the headlines by joining the 3,000-hit club in style with a home run last weekend just before the all-star break. The Yankees trail the Red Sox by one game in the AL East. It may be a little early to talk about the Wild Card, but the Yankees do lead by five games in the Wild Card standings.
The Blue Jays continue to hover around the .500 mark. Jose Bautista is proving to the world that last year was no fluke at all, and he may be the best hitter in the game right now. Unfortunately, Toronto hasn’t been able to get consistent pitching for most of the season. It isn’t that the Blue Jays are a bad team, but they just can’t seem to get over the hump in the difficult AL East.
How the Teams Enter
The Yankees dropped four of their last seven before the break, but that miniature slump followed a terrific seven-game winning streak. Overall, New York has been playing some pretty good baseball over the course of the last couple months. Robinson Cano is the newly crowned Home Run Derby Champion, and he has also been the Yankees most consistent hitter this year. After a slow start, Nick Swisher has been hot of late, but he is listed as questionable for this game due to a quad injury. The Yankees continue to bash home runs at a ridiculous clip, but they do need to improve with runners in scoring position. The biggest reason New York is in such a good position right now is their starting pitching. The Yankees are ninth in the majors with a team ERA of 3.46.
Toronto swept the Indians in the final weekend of the first half, but prior to that they had lost eight out of 11 contests. Baustista is the major league leader in home runs, and he ranks third among all players in batting average at .334. Adam Lind is also having a solid season for the Blue Jays. On the other hand, Aaron Hill is hitting just .234 with four home runs. Hill was an all-star just two years ago, and the Blue Jays really need him to get his swing back. Ricky Romero has been the only consistent starter for the Blue Jays this season.
Yankees at Blue Jays Betting Storylines
Alex Rodriguez underwent minor surgery on his injured knee Monday. Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list, and he is expected to miss four to six weeks. Jeter is back and healthy, but now the Yankees will have to see how they can manage without Rodriguez in the middle of the lineup. The Yankees certainly still have plenty of power, but it has to be a bit concerning to lose a right-handed bat in the middle of a heavily left-handed lineup.
The Blue Jays have done a good job holding their own against the Yankees of late. In their last 20 meetings, each team has won 10 times. Strangely, the Blue Jays have actually been worse at home this year. Toronto has a record of just 19-22 at home, but they are 26-25 on the road.
Yankees at Blue Jays Pitching Probables
Bartolo Colon (6-4, 3.20) will take the mound for the Yankees. It will be Jo-Jo Reyes (4-7, 4.57) on the hill for the Blue Jays. Colon has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees this season. Not much was expected of the 38 year old, but he has pitched well. In 20 career starts against the Blue Jays, Colon is 9-4 with a 3.84 ERA. The Blue Jays did get to Colon in his start earlier this year against them. Toronto put up six runs in Colon’s six innings pitched in the Blue Jays 7-3 win on May 23.
Reyes has only started one game against the Yankees, and he lasted only three innings. On May 25 of this year, Reyes allowed five runs in three innings in the Yankees 7-3 win over the Blue Jays. Reyes is just 1-3 with a 5.29 ERA at home so far this season.
Yankees at Blue Jays Odds
The Yankees are listed as -143 road favorites at Bodog, with the Blue Jays listed at +133 as a home underdog. The total has been installed at 9 ½ runs.
MLB Picks: Yankees at Blue Jays Picks and Predictions
I like the Yankees in this game. Toronto has struggled with right-handers all season. The Yankees are 13-3 in their last 16 games against a left-handed starter. Colon should be able to continue his past success against the Blue Jays. The ‘under’ also makes quite a bit of sense here. The Yankees will be without Rodriguez, and the ‘under’ is 12-3-1 in the Yankees last 16 road games.
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