The hot Toronto Blue Jays are getting an underdog price on Saturday's MLB Odds as they shoot for a sweep of the division-leading Yankees Sunday at the Stadium.
Jays-Yanks Sunday Odds
In the very early betting the best price we could find on New York and Masahiro Tanaka was the -133 offered at 5Dimes, which was also offering the best line on Toronto and Marco Estrada, at +128. And every book on our MLB odds board listed a total on today's game of 8.5 runs.
The Situation for the Blue Jays
Toronto has taken the first two games of this series, after David Price and two relievers blanked the Yanks Saturday 6-0. So the Blue Jays (60-52), who have won seven games in a row, now trail division-leading New York (61-48) by just 2.5 games in the AL East race, and now lead the American League wild-card race by a half-game over the second-place Angels.
Also, the Jays now lead this season series six games to two, with the UNDERS going 5-3.
Sunday's Mound Match-Up
Tanaka (8-4, 3.84), by our tough accounting, is eight-for-15 on quality starts this season, two-for-four since the All-Star break. Tuesday he gave up three runs in six innings against Boston, and over his last four starts he's allowed 13 runs through 26 2/3 innings, giving up six gopher balls along the way. For the season Tanaka has allowed fewer hits, 80, than innings pitched, 94, but 16 of those hits have gone long ball. His K/BB ratio is great, though, at 87/19.
New York is 11-4 in Tanaka's starts, with the totals going 7-8.
Over four career starts against Toronto, all since the beginning of last season, Tanaka has allowed eight earned runs and 21 hits through 22 1/3 innings; the Yankees won three of those games, and three of those games played UNDER.
Estrada (9-6, 3.40) is eight-for-17 on quality starts, two-for-four since the All-Star break. Tuesday he held Minnesota to one run through 6 2/3 innings, while just before that he held Kansas City to two runs through 5 2/3 innings. On the season Estrada owns some decent internals, holding foes to 90 hits through 111 innings, walking 34 while striking out 86.
The Blue Jays are 9-8 in Estrada's starts, with the totals going 8-9.
In Estrada's only previous career start against the Yanks, back on May 5 of this season, he gave up five runs – four earned – and eight hits through 4 2/3 innings of a 6-3 Toronto loss.
Sunday's Batting Splits
Toronto ranks 13th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .256 team batting average, and seventh with a .323 team on-base percentage.
New York, meanwhile, ranks 11th against righties with a .259 team average and eighth with a .323 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
With two UNDERS to start this series games played at Yankee Stadium are now 25-23 on the totals this season, averaging 9.4 runs per, fourth-most among all ML ballparks.
Jays-Yanks Sunday Free Picks
Toronto is the hot team to back with MLB picks, getting an underdog price, so we'll go with the Jays to complete the sweep today. Also, we rank both these bullpens among the best in baseball, so we're thinking UNDER.