Toronto took the opener of a big divisional series with the Yankees Friday night, and throws its newly acquired ace Saturday. But this handicapper likes taking chances, and likes home baseball dogs.
Jays-Yanks Saturday Odds
In the very early betting on this one the best line we could find on Toronto with David Price was the -141 offered at BetOnline, while New York and Ivan Nova were getting +138 at 5Dimes. And most books listed a total on today's game of eight runs, with a few 8.5's out there, for those who might be thinking UNDER.
Toronto grabbed the opener of this series Friday night 2-1 on a Jose Bautista home run in the top of the 10th inning. The Jays have now won six games in a row, and eight of their last nine, while the Yankees lost a series opener for the first time in their last four series.
At 61-47 New York's lead in the AL East is down to 3.5 games over the 59-52 Blue Jays. Toronto has also surged into a tie for the lead in the American League wild-card race with Anaheim.
The Jays now lead this season series five games to two, with the UNDERS going 4-3.
Saturday's Mound Match-Up
Nova (4-3, 3.10) is three-for-seven on quality starts this season, which for him began in late June. Last Sunday he held the White Sox to one run through six innings, and over his last three starts he's limited foes to five runs through 17 innings. On the season Nova has allowed 38 hits through 41 innings, walked 14 and struck out 25.
New York is 4-3 in Nova's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER 4-3.
Nova missed Toronto last year; back in 2013 he started three times against the Jays, giving up ten runs through 13 1/3 innings; the Yanks managed to win two of those games, and all three games played OVER.
Price (10-4, 2.45) will be making his second start for his new team, after coming over in that trade with Detroit. Monday he held Minnesota to one run through eight innings, which was nice, considering we played the Jays that day on the run line, in a 5-1 Toronto victory. On the season Price is 14-for-22 on quality starts, allowing 136 hits through 154 innings, walking 29 while whiffing 138, which is a ratio of almost 5/1, which is fucking great.
Price's teams are 16-6 in his starts this season, which ranks among the very best among all starters in the MFL (as the Splinter used to call it).
Since the beginning of last season Price has started against New York six times, going three-for-six on quality starts; three times he's held the Yanks to three runs or less, and three times he's been tagged for six runs or more, including the last two outings, in which he's been rocked for 16 runs and 22 hits through just 4 1/3 innings. Yeah, crazy, huh? On the whole Price has allowed 27 earned runs through his last 32 innings against New York, resulting in four OVERS in six games.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Toronto ranks 12th in the Majors at the moment against right-handed pitching with a .257 team batting average, and seventh with a .325 team on-base percentage.
New York, on the other hand, ranks 11th against left-handed pitching with a .257 average, third with a .337 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Stadium this season are 25-22 on the OVERS, averaging 9.5 runs per, fourth-most among all ML ballparks.
Jays-Yanks Saturday Free Picks
Toronto is the hot team, with its new ace going today, but we just can't get those eight-run efforts by Price against New York out of our head. We'll take the Yankees as home dogs today. Also, we rank both these bullpens among the best in baseball, so we'll go UNDER on the total.
MLB Picks: Pinstripes and UNDER 8.5 runs (-120) at BookMaker