As the regular season is winding down and the playoff teams are beginning to “bubble”, the New York Yankees will conclude their season series with the Toronto Blue Jays in a matchup of division rivals. Toronto will be trying to escape the mediocre play the Yankees caused last week at Yankee Stadium as they allowed 43 runs in a three-game set, including 18 homers. The Yankees will send southpaw Jordan Montgomery to the hill as the Blue Jays counter with their ace Hyun Jin Ryu.
There is a lot riding on how these last few games play out for both teams. For the Yankees, they are battling with the Minnesota Twins for the fourth seed in the playoffs. The significance is playing the Wild Card best-of-three series at your home ballpark. The Blue Jays are competing with the Cleveland Indians to decide who will play the Rays and who will play the White Sox. There is even a chance that the Los Angeles Angels can find a way to make it in as the Blue Jays have played poorly while the Angels got hot.
This will be the last start for Ryu before starting the first game of the Wild Card round in the playoffs, giving him one last appearance to correct anything on the mound. This is his first year outside of Los Angeles, but the Yankees have seen him well in the three games they faced off. Ryu is 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA in 15.1 innings. On the other hand, Montgomery has thrown excellent in his career against the Blue Jays as in five games (four starts) he is 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 22.2 innings. This matchup will be entertaining as we get one of the last glimpses of MLB in Buffalo, New York.
Getting Healthy For the PlayoffsThe Yankees don’t seem to be playing with much urgency for the final handful of games remaining before the playoffs. They are essentially giving rehab stints to their sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton while also competing for an extra three games at Yankee Stadium to begin the playoffs. The Bronx Bombers have dealt with injuries for the past couple of seasons, hampering a potential trip to the Fall Classic, but none more significant to the team than their biggest sluggers. Judge has been slow to get back going after returning to the lineup on September 16. Since then, he is 5-for-22 with one RBI. It would be nice to see Judge put one over the fence so that isn’t a storyline going into the playoffs for people to harp on. Stanton has been better by going 6-for-21 with a homer and three RBI in his five games since returning to the team. The Yankees have one goal for these two and it is to be healthy and productive once the playoffs roll around.
The Yankee KillerThe Toronto Blue Jays have been getting younger with the second generation of Hall of Fame players getting their strides. With the youth, they need a few players that have been in MLB for more than a cup of coffee to help their new core along. Randal Grichuk is concluding his sixth season in the majors and has done well against the New York Yankees in his career. In 46 career games, he has a .808 OPS with 14 home runs and 25 RBI. That might not sound incredible, but he is the Yankee Killer.
He has been a staple of the Blue Jays since joining the organization in 2018 and has patrolled center field for most of it. He is a solid hitter overall, with a .264 batting average so far this season. He has hit 10 HR and has driven in 30 runs, which might not sound as impressive as one may think. Whenever he is playing against the Yankees, he seems to be up in key situations and performing well in them. Whether it’s just seeing the ball better than most and drawing a timely walk to extend an inning or battle the Yankees’ pitcher to increase the pitch count and force a move, one thing is certain: don’t let Randal Grichuk be up in a key situation of the game otherwise it could haunt you.
- Toronto: 3-7 in last 10
- Toronto: 1-5 in last 6 games vs AL East
- New York: 11-2 in last 13 games
- New York: 10-7 when Montgomery pitches since 2018
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Despite all of the injuries, the Yankees have scored the most runs in the American League and are fourth in the majors. This offense is elite with DJ LeMahieu competing for his second batting title, Luke Voit leading the majors in homers and then Judge and Stanton. Montgomery can battle for a potential spot in the postseason bullpen with this outing and needs a bounce-back start. Toronto is in a funk lately and this game will be another sign of a young team getting overwhelmed by not knowing where they were going to play their games for a while and not having playoff experience. Chalk this one up as a Yankees victory.
Prediction: New York
Full-Game Total Pick
The Yankees offense is hot and hits well off of Ryu in his career. Jordan Montgomery has had ups-and-downs this season and has been susceptible to bad outings, especially against AL East teams. Both these teams can hit well. Sahlen Field has been a hitters ballpark to the extreme as there are 11 runs scored per game. The Yankees offense is clicking and should score more off a subpar Toronto bullpen. The Yankees aren’t going to go to most of their strongest bullpen arms so expect a higher chance of late runs for the Blue Jays as well. The OVER seems to be the smart play in this game.