Thursday afternoon’s finale has New York’s Andy Pettitte (8-9, 4.39 ERA) slated against Toronto’s J.A. Happ (3-2, 4.93 ERA) in a battle of left-handers.
Yankees, Soriano cash again
Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano cracked a two-run homer in Wednesday’s eighth inning, breaking a 0-for-15 slump. New York’s David Huff tossed five innings of relief en route to notching his staff’s win, while closer Mariano Rivera logged his 37th save.
Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion and Mark DeRosa were held to a combined 0-for-7 mark at the plate, each striking out twice. Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole poked his first long ball of the year, while mate Adam Lind walked twice in a 1-for-2 night from the cleanup spot.
Pettitte shuts down Red Sox
Pettitte picked up his first win in six starts with Friday’s 10-3 win for New York over the Boston Red Sox, cashing as a 167 road dog. The 41-year-old allowed no earned runs over 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and one walk.
Yankees mates Mark Reynolds and Eduardo Nunez drilled a homer and triple, respectively, uniting to hit 4-for-9. The lopsided affair’s 13 runs leaped OVER the MLB odds ‘total’ of nine, while both sides combined for five errors.
Happ collects in Tampa Bay
Happ ended a string of no-decisions with Saturday’s win in a 6-2 victory for Toronto against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Illinois native gave up two runs on five hits, cashing as a 142 road dog in 5 1/3 frames of action.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista cracked his 28th homer of the year, while Brett Lawrie and Mark DeRosa both batting 2-for-4. Toronto’s relief trio of Neil Wagner, Brad Lincoln and Darren Oliver held Tampa Bay to two hits over the final 3 2/3 innings.
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Back the UNDER in New York
William Hill opened Pettitte as a 160 home favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at nine (OVER minus 115). Toronto’s Jose Bautista remains on the disabled list with a hip injury, while Maicer Izturis is expected to miss the contest due to an ankle sprain.
I am adding the UNDER in this duel to Thursday’s sports picks, looking for Wednesday’s low octane to continue here in a tight affair.
Pettite has held his own in recent home starts, giving up 10 earned runs over his last four outings (22 2/3 IP). The veteran faces a drop in class here with Toronto’s lineup hitting just .219 against southpaws on the road, along with mounting injuries.
Happ has settled down in his last two starts and should stay continue to stay stingy in this battle. The 30-year-old held the Yankees to three runs over six frames in April’s 5-4 defeat for Toronto in New York.
Umpire Mike DiMuro has seen the UNDER cash at 4-2-1 over his last seven called games. Look for UNDER backers to get the money again here, with the UNDER cashing at 8-2 in Toronto’s last 10 spots as an underdog and 4-1 in Happ’s last five starts that had a ‘total’ set of nine or more.
MLB Pick: UNDER 9 at William Hill