Toronto Blue Jays (1-1) +171 at New York Yankees (1-1) -171 9u15, 7:05 pm Eastern Thursday
by Zman of Predictem.com
AL East rivals play the rubber match in their season-opening series when the Toronto Blue Jays and Dustin McGowan go up against Phil Hughes and the New York Yankees Thursday night in The Bronx.
Baseball Sportsbooks list New York as -160 home favorites for Thursday’s game, with an o/u of 9.
These two teams have split the first two games of this series; after getting weathered out on Monday, the Yanks won Tuesday 3-2 while Toronto came out on top 5-2 Wednesday. Both those games stayed under their totals, as thus far the Jays have scored seven runs on 18 hits while NY has tallied five runs on 15 hits.
Last year, the Yanks took the season series with Toronto 10 games to eight, with the o/u going 7-11, as the teams combined to average 9.4 runs per game when they hooked up.
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The Blue Jays are slated to throw McGowan (12-10, 4.08 last year) Thursday against Hughes (5-3, 4.46 last season) for New York. But bettors should check for a late scratch for Toronto, as McGowan is reported to be fighting flu-like symptoms.
McGowan made four starts last year vs. the Yankees, allowing 14 ER and 31 baserunners (hits + walks) in 24 IP. The Jays won two of those four games, and the o/u went 1-3.
Hughes made three starts vs. Toronto last year, giving up 8 ER and 22 baserunners in 15 1/3 innings of work. The Yanks went 2-1 in those three games, and the o/u also went 2-1.
Toronto finished four games above .500 last season, but went just 34-47 on the road. Meanwhile, New York was a solid 52-29 in Yankee Stadium last year.
The Yankees led the majors last year with their .366 team OBP and 6.0 runs per game average. On the other side of this match-up, the Blue Jays ranked 23rd in the league last season with their .327 team OBP, and averaged 4.6 RPG.
Games played at Yankee Stadium last season averaged 11.1 RPG.
The Toronto bullpen ranked 3rd in the majors last season with its 3.50 ERA. In two games so far this year, Jays relievers have combined to hold New York scoreless over four innings. But Toronto is still without closer B.J. Ryan, who’s working out some shoulder problems.
Also on the injury front, New York catcher Jorge Posada was scratched from Wednesday’s game with a sore shoulder, and is uncertain for Thursday.
The Yankees bullpen ranked 22nd last year with a 4.37 ERA. In two games so far this season, New York relievers have allowed one ER and five baserunners in 5 1/3 IP.
The o/u went 67-91 in Jays games last season, while the totals went 79-72 in Yankees games.
Local forecasts call for chilly and overcast conditions Thursday night in New York, with an increasing chance of precipitation as the evening progresses.
Zman’s Pick: I like the UNDER in tonight’s game.