New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
New York Yankees (38-20) at Toronto Blue Jays (21-38)
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto
Opening Line: NYY -192/TOR +167
Runline: Yanks -1.5/Jays +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka (3-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) vs. Clayton Richard (0-1, 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
The Yankees’ performance with a patchwork lineup has been nothing short of impressive, as New York has managed to win 30 of its past 40 games despite several of its top players being down with injuries. Now they’re starting to get healthier, with Didi Gregorius set to make a return to the starting lineup Friday and expected to play two out of three games per series until the Yankees feel that he’s back to being himself. If he does return to form, he’ll be a welcome addition to an already potent lineup that has ranked seventh in runs and ninth in batting average.
— Betting Note: Don’t bet this MLB Game or any other without knowing where the best MLB odds are. The best place to start is with sportsbooks offering 10 cent lines as they have the lowest margins. However, any online sportsbook can have the highest payout on any given team. —
But first, the Yankees have to get themselves past this series with the Blue Jays, which means looking more like the team that beat Boston in its first two games of last weekend’s series, not the one that lost the series finale by an 8-5 count. Toronto doesn’t present the same challenge as the Red Sox, but that doesn’t mean New York can get caught napping. The Yanks don’t currently have the lineup that would allow them to make a free mistakes; they’ve got to play well at all times to keep having success until the regulars get back.
Clayton Richard hasn’t been bad during his time on the mound with Toronto, but his durability has proven to be a bit of a problem. In two appearances, he’s made it through four innings each time, giving up just two hits to Boston and three to Tampa Bay. Those aren’t bad numbers by any definition, but the problem came when the Blue Jays’ bullpen took over the game and the opposing offense did its job. The Rays didn’t tee off on the Blue Jays, but the Red Sox really walloped Toronto’s bullpen, striking for seven runs in five innings after Richard left the game. Now he gets his third straight tough out in the Yankees, whom he hasn’t faced since 2008. Richard went 6.2 innings in that game, but that was 11 years ago when he was just beginning his career. He’s going to have to be sharp for as long as he’s on the mound to give the Jays a chance.
To most outsiders, the AL East is one of the toughest divisions in the major leagues. Try telling that to Masahiro Tanaka, who has saved his best for the AL East. In four starts against division rivals, Tanaka hasn’t given up more than one earned run in any of them. Contrast that with his western starts, where he’s given up at least two runs and usually more against all four of his opponents that play in the Pacific Time Zone — regardless of whether the game is played in Yankee Stadium or on the road. Extending that to include a win over the Tigers, a member of the AL Central, Tanaka has given up four earned runs in five starts against teams from the Eastern Time Zone.
Two years ago, the Blue Jays actually won this series by a 10-9 mark. Last year, things weren’t nearly as close, as the Yankees won 13 of 19 games while the Blue Jays ended up in fourth place by a wide margin. Thanks to the Orioles, that might be the case again, but it remains to be seen how well the teams match up with each other because they’ve yet to face off this season.
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- The Yankees have won their past five following an off day.
- The Yankees are 11-1 when Tanaka has six days of rest.
- The Blue Jays have lost their past five to the AL East.
- The under is 4-1-1 in the Yankees’ past six games.
- The over is 6-0-1 in the Blue Jays’ past seven home games.
- The Yankees have won seven of Tanaka’s past eight starts against Toronto.
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With rain and 55 degree weather in the forecast for Toronto, expect the Jays to make the call early to play this game with the roof closed.
The Blue Jays have been nothing short of awful this year. It doesn’t really matter where the game is played; Toronto is lousy both at home and on the road. They’ve won just seven of their past 24 games, and now they face an opponent who is hot and getting healthy. This is not what the Blue Jays need right now, and wit’s why the Yankees are going off at such a lousy price.
I don’t love laying runs with Tanaka, but he has shown a mastery of the Jays in past seasons, and those were better Toronto teams than what he’ll be seeing in this one. I’ll take the Yankees with the -1.5 runs to give this some juice and get a return on my investment.