The Yankees snapped Toronto's 11-game winning streak Friday night, helping this handicapper cash in at a very nice price. We'll shoot for more of the same on Saturday's Game 2 between the Yanks and Jays.
Yanks-Jays Saturday Odds
In very early betting action the best line we could find on Toronto with Marco Estrada was the -120 offered at BetOnline, while New York with Masahiro Tanaka were getting +115 at Pinnacle. And every book on the MLB odds board listed a total on Saturday's game of eight runs, with most of the grease leaning toward the OVER.
New York grabbed Game 1 of this series Friday night 4-3, snapping Toronto's 11-game winning streak, re-taking first place in the AL East in the process. At 63-51 the Yankees are now a half-game up on the 64-53 Jays in the divisional race, although Toronto also leads the American League wild-card race by three games over the second-place Angels.
Carlos Beltran provided the big blow Friday, a three-run, pinch-hit homer in the top of the eighth that gave the Yanks the lead for good. The Jays got the tying run to third base and the winning run to second in the bottom of the ninth, but Troy Tulowitzki struck out to end the game.
Toronto now leads this season series seven games to three, with the UNDERS going 7-3.
Today's pitching match-up is a rematch of last Sunday's game, a 2-0 Toronto victory.
Estrada (10-6, 3.21), by our tough standards, is nine-for-18 on quality starts this season, and an out away from going three for his last three. Last Sunday he tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball against these Yankees, and over his last three starts he's allowed just three runs through 18 2/3 innings. For the season the former Brewer has allowed fewer hits, 93, than innings pitched, 118, walked 37, which is perhaps a few too many, and struck out 92.
Toronto is 10-8 in Estrada's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 10-8 margin.
Estrada has started twice against New York this season, giving up five runs – four earned – through 11 innings; the Jays split those two games, as did the totals.
Tanaka (8-5, 3.79) is nine-for-16 on quality starts, but only one for his last three. Last Sunday he held a hot Toronto lineup to two runs through six innings, but over his last three starts he's allowed nine runs through 18 innings. For the season, which for him includes a stint on the DL, Tanaka has allowed fewer hits, 83, than innings pitched, 100, but 18 of those hits have gone lost in the seats.
The Yankees are 11-5 in Tanaka's starts, with the UNDERS going 9-7.
Tanaka has started twice against Toronto this season, allowing seven runs – six earned – through 10 innings, giving up three dingers; New York lost both those games, while both games, thanks to almost zero Yankees run support, played UNDER.
Saturday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 14th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .254 team batting average, and 12th with a .320 team on-base percentage.
Toronto, meanwhile, ranks 12th against righties with a .255 team average and eighth with a .322 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Rogers Centre are 35-24 on the UNDERS this season, even though they're averaging 9.3 runs per. Oddsmakers have been posting some high totals on Blue Jays home games.
Yanks-Jays Saturday Free Picks
We took a chance and hit a nice fat winner Friday with New York, a play based simply upon betting value. And we're thinking along the same lines for today. The pitching match-up, the sticks and the bullpens seem to combine for about a wash, so we like the value with the underdog Yankees. And how many times have we seen a team – in this case, Toronto – have a long winning streak snapped, only to immediately lose three or four games in a row? Also, we could see this game getting to 5-4, so we like the OVER.