Toronto grabbed Game 1 of this final series of the season with the rival Yankees, and is favored to take Game 2 Tuesday night. Is that where the betting value resides?
Yankees-Blue Jays Tuesday Odds
In surfing the early betting lines and preparing our free MLB picks for Tuesday, the best line we could find on Toronto and Marco Estrada was the -130 at BetOnline, while New York with Luis Severino could be found getting +130 at 5Dimes. Also, Heritage was offering +155 on the Jays against the run line.
Toronto took the opener of this series Monday night 4-2, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, then getting seven shutout innings from starter David Price. With the victory the Jays upped their lead over New York in the AL East back to 3.5 games.
Coming into this series the Yankees had won two series in a row, and five of their previous seven games. At 82-67 overall, New York leads the AL wild-card race by three games over second-place Houston, and by three more games over third-place Minnesota.
Toronto, meanwhile, dropped two of three games at home to Boston over the weekend, but before that had won two straight series, and five of its previous seven games. At 86-64 the Jays are perched just a game and a half back of Kansas City in the battle for the best record in the American League.
Toronto leads this season series 12 games to five, with the UNDERS going 11-6. This is the last series between these teams this year, at least until the playoffs.
Estrada (13-8, 3.14), by our strict standards, is 13-for-25 on quality starts this year, and an inning away from being four for his last five. Last Thursday he tossed eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball against Atlanta, and over his last five starts he's held foes to nine runs through 31 frames. For the season Estrada has allowed just 121 hits through 160 innings, walked 51 and struck out 117.
Toronto is 15-10 in Estrada's starts, with the UNDERS going 14-11.
Over four starts already this season against New York Estrada has allowed 10 ER through 22 innings; the Jays split those four games, as did the totals.
Severino (4-3, 3.12) is four-for-eight on quality starts, but only twice has he allowed more than two runs in an outing. Both came against the Blue Jays. Two starts ago, against this Toronto lineup, he got nicked for six runs in less than three innings, but last Wednesday he held Tampa to one run through 5 2/3 innings. On the season Severino has allowed 40 hits through 43 innings, walked 18 and struck out 45.
The Yankees are 4-4 in Severino's starts, with the UNDERS going 5-3.
This will be Severino's third start against the Jays this season; first, he gave up three runs in six innings, then 11 days ago, as mentioned above, he allowed six runs in just 2 1/3 innings. New York lost both those games.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 18th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .315 team on-base percentage, but fifth with a .424 team slugging percentage.
Toronto, meanwhile, ranks No. 1 against righties with a .332 team OBP and second with a .448 team slugging percentage.
We'll give the edge with the sticks for tonight to the Blue Jays.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Rogers Centre this season have skewed toward the UNDERS by a 45-29 margin, even though they've averaged 9.1 runs per.
Toronto is without SS Troy Tulowitzki, while New York is without slugger Mark Teixeira. So the injury situation is about a wash.
Yanks-Jays Free MLB Picks
We give Toronto short edges in the pitching match-up, with the sticks and in the bullpen. ANd with BetOnline offering us the best MLB odds, we're going with the Blue Jays at -130 tonight.
Free MLB Pick: Toronto-130 at BetOnline