With only two weeks remaining in the 2020 regular season, only half of a game separates the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees in the American League East standings. The Toronto Blue Jays are currently 26-20 on the season, a drastic turnaround after finishing 67-95 in 2019. The New York Yankees are 26-21, third in the East but presently in the first of two American League wildcard spots. The Yankees and Blue Jays met for the first time this season last week for a three-game series in Buffalo, New York, with the Blue Jays taking two of those three games. With seven head-to-head games remaining between these division rivals, New York and Toronto will get to decide the control their destiny for second place in the division.
This prediction is for the second game of the three-game series that will be played on Wednesday. Tuesday's game had not yet been completed at the time of this preview.
Blue Jays stay consistentThe Toronto Blue Jays currently trail the Tampa Bay Rays by 3.5 games for first in the AL East. The Blue Jays were off on Monday but won their second straight game on Sunday with a 7-3 win over the New York Mets. The Blue Jays have been consistent throughout the season, with their longest losing streaks only being two games long.
For the season, Toronto is hitting .252 as a team and averaging 4.8 runs per game, which are both 12th in MLB. The Blue Jays are currently without the services of Teoscar Hernandez, who is out with an oblique injury and has not played since Sept. 6. Hernandez has was having the best offensive season on the team before getting hurt, batting .308, with 14 home runs, 27 RBI, and five stolen bases.
The Blue Jays are deep with talent, even without Hernandez. Randal Grichuk has hit nine home runs and 27 RBI, followed by Lourdes Gurriel Jr (7 HR 25 RBI), and Rowdy Tellez (8 HR 23 RBI. The sons of two MLB Hall of Famers, Cavan Biggio (6 HR 21 RBI, 5 SB), and Vladmir Guerrero Jr. (6 HR 23 RBI), have also been vital to the turnaround of the franchise. Bo Bichettte, who hit .311 with 11 home runs in only 46 games last season, is now healthy after missing 30 games earlier this year. Bichette is batting .333 with five home runs and 13 RBI in only 16 games this season, and should really help the club the rest of the way.
ROSTER MOVE:— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 12, 2020
SS Bo Bichette has been reinstated from the 10-day IL.
To make room, RHP Jacob Waguespack has been optioned. pic.twitter.com/kwHVMQFgli
Tanner Roark is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA and 1.73 WHIP on the season and has made eight starts. Roark faced the Yankees last Wednesday in his most recent outing allowing two earned runs and four innings in the Blue Jays 7-2 loss to the Yankees. Roark has made three career starts against the Bronx Bombers and is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in those games.
Yankees on five game winning streakAfter going through a stretch of losing 15 out of 20 games, the Yankees have put together a five-game winning streak, which currently has their postseason hopes in good shape, barring a collapse in the final 13 games. After defeating Toronto last Wednesday, the Yankees swept the Baltimore Orioles in a four-game series, with the most recent win coming by a score of 3-1 on Sunday.
The Yankees are 16th in MLB, scoring 4.7 runs per game, and 21st with a .237 batting average. The Yankees have been plagued by injuries this season but are expecting to get back three key players this week. Aaron Judge (9 HR 20 RBI in 18 games), Giancarlo Stanton (.293 3 HR 7 RBI in 14 games), and Gio Urshela (6 HR 23 RBI in 31 games) should each be activated back into the everyday lineup soon. Luke Voit is batting .270 on the season and leads in the team with 16 home runs and 37 RBI, and DJ LeMahieu has a team-high .350 batting average along with six home runs and 14 RBI.
Just a reminder that the Yankees have these three kings coming back this week. pic.twitter.com/ODtqw94fHi— Joe! 🗽 (@Yankeelibrarian) September 15, 2020
The Yankees will send their ace Gerrit Cole to the mound on Wednesday. Cole is 5-3 on the season with a 3.20 ERA and 1.02 WHIP and will be making his first start of the season against the Blue Jays. Cole has made two career starts against Toronto and is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA.
- Yankees are 2-9 in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Yankees have a substantial edge on the mound with Gerrit Cole going against Tanner Roark, which makes them heavy favorites (-260). If you take the Yankees here, the better value is on the run line, but I don't trust the Yankees to win this game by at least two runs, especially with the Blue Jays potentially getting an extra at-bat as the visiting team.
Cole was outstanding in his last two starts, both in Yankees wins that came against Baltimore. Before his previous two starts against the Orioles, the Yankees had lost three straight games that Cole had pitched, coming against Tampa Bay twice and the Atlanta Braves.
Roark's numbers are not impressive this season, but the Blue Jays still have won six out of the eight games he has started this season.
The Yankees have not performed well against winning teams recently, and I will take a shot on the Blue Jays to keep this game at least with-in one run.
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays +1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I am going to take the under here. Nine seems like a high total for a game involving Gerrit Cole. The under has cashed in four times out of Cole's last five starts, and in all but one of those games, the line was set below nine runs. Seven of the previous eight games, when the Yankees were favored, have also gone under the total.
When the Blue Jays play on the road in these situations, the under has usually been the way to go. The over has only cashed in twice out of the last 13 road games that the Blue Jays have played with a line set at 9.0 to 10.5 runs. I will take the under here.
Prediction: Under 9