Blue Jays and Yankees Open Critical Series in Bronx

Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:50 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018 12:50 PM UTC

A stiff wind blowing out to right has our handicapper thinking there will be plenty of runs for his free MLB pick when the Yankees begin a long series with the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Toronto Blue Jays (12-5 SU, 8-8-1 O/U) at New York Yankees (8-8 SU, 11-4-1 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Over 9Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Thanks to canceled games and a quirk on their early fixtures, nearly 40% of their action will have come against each other once the Blue Jays and Yankees complete a long series this weekend. The lid-lifter for the set Thursday finds Toronto sending Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 3.66) to the mound while CC Sabathia (0-0, 4.00) comes of the DL to deliver the first pitch for New York (6:35 PM ET).

It’s an important series for both clubs with Boston off to such a hot start in the AL East. Toronto has won 4 straight to sit 3 games behind the Red Sox at 12-5 with the 8-8 Yankees already 6½ back. A quick check of the baseball odds board finds New York favored in the -145 to -155 range with a 9 run total that generally favors the ‘over.’

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Goal: Come out swinging.
Status: Complete. @budcanada

— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 19, 2018

Yanks 29-21 In Sabathia’s Last 50 Home Starts

Sanchez is coming off a nice performance, albeit against the woeful Orioles. The 25-year-old allowed just three hits and a run in eight innings at Camden Yards, though he did walk five as a pair of double plays helped bail him out in a close 2-1 decision. Control issues also plagued him in a loss to the Yankees on the second day of the season, Sanchez issuing four free passes and surrendering all of New York’s runs in a 4-2 final. This is just his second career start at Yankee Stadium, the other a no-decision in 2016 (7 IP, 3 ER).

Sabathia only missed eight games despite sitting on the DL with a hip injury for nearly two weeks. He threw just 58 pitches against the Orioles in the April 6 start, three of them deposited over the fence by Baltimore hitters. Ol’ Crooked Cap was decent enough in his season debut in Toronto, a 5-3 New York loss that he left with the game tied and having allowed just one earned run in five frames.

Clubs Playing Second 4-Game Series Of Young Season

The Yankees were in Toronto to begin the season, winning the first two games while the Blue Jays bounced back to halve the 4-game set. Three of the games stayed ‘under’ the totals, which ran from 8½-9 at Bookmaker, and four of the nine in New York last season went ‘over’ targets, which ranged from 7½-10, one pushing a 9-run total. Toronto has won the last three season series, taking 17 of 28 in the Big Apple.

Rain in the NYC area should clear out by late afternoon, leaving behind cold, damp and windy conditions, the NW gusts better than 20 mph giving balls headed to right field a little extra giddy-up. I’m saddling up with an ‘over’ play for my free MLB pick.

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