MLB Picks: Yankees vs. Blue Jays Series Odds

Willie Bee

Monday, June 23, 2014 12:42 PM GMT

The New York Yankees turn to veteran pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on Wednesday in hopes of avoiding a sweep in their MLB odds series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

25th June
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Game 3

By: Willie Bee

 

Tuesday's tilt in Toronto between the Blue Jays and New York Yankees was a tale of three games, none of which will be included in instructional videos on how to play the game of baseball properly. The teams combined for four errors and several more gaffes that don't show up in the boxscore. As New Yorks first baseman commented after Toronto's 7-6 victory, "If' you're a fan, you should get your money back."

It was New York's fourth consecutive defeat, and the win put the Blue Jays on the brink of a sweep when the clubs conclude the set on Wednesday (7:07 PM ET). The matchup pits Hiroki Kuroda for New York and Toronto's Drew Hutchison on the mound, and is very close to a pick 'em with the Jays the slight favorites.

The total went out at 8.5, but SBR's live baseball odds is showing mostly 9 run figures some 12 hours in advance of the first pitch.

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SkyDome Not Kuroda's Favorite Place To Pitch
Kuroda is still searching for his first June dubya, the Yankees 1-3 in his four starts so far this month and 6-9 behind their veteran righthander this year. He was on the hill in New York last Friday against Baltimore, tossing six 4-hit frames and allowing only two runs.  The Yankees trailed 2-1 when he departed, but Carlos Beltran's 3-run clout in the bottom of the ninth took him off the hook for the loss.

He missed the Blue Jays earlier this campaign, but has seen them eight times since joining the Yankees in 2012. New York has won five of those eight contests, but Kuroda has struggled in his five starts at Rogers Centre with a 5.65 ERA.

Hutchison has been running hot-&-cold this year, nothing unusual for a pitcher in his first full MLB season. The 23-year-old has made four starts this month, allowing no runs over seven innings in two of them, and charged with nine runs in just over seven innings in the other two combined. The Yankees belted Hutchison around back in April, scoring six times before chasing him to the showers in the fourth.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Working the plate in the finale should be Scott Barry who has a 5-9 O/U mark on the campaign. Blue Jay backers should be aware that the Battle Creek native has also been hard on home chalk this year (3-8). Barry worked one of Kuroda's road starts earlier this season, a 4-3 New York win in Anaheim that just fell short of a 7.5 run total.

A few showers remain in Toronto's forecast during the day, and it's not looking like they'll all be gone by game time.  Should the roof be open at Rogers Centre, we're looking at temps in the low-70s and a light north breeze (in from center).

New York has not been swept in a full 3-game series on the 2014 schedule so far, but that's apparently about to change. After being wrong about them the past two nights, it's going to be a free pick on the home team to complete a broom job this evening.

MLB Pick: Blue Jays -110

Season: 71-73 (-2.05)

 

24th June
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Game 2

By: Willie Bee

 

It turns out that even without Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie, the Toronto Blue Jays still have a pretty good lineup. New York rookie pitcher Chase Whitley found that out Monday night, an 8-3 Blue Jays victory leaving the Yankees one down in the series and dragging a 3-game losing streak into Tuesday's contest.

A quick check of the MLB odds reveals Toronto favored to extend New York's skid to four. Mark Buehrle is scheduled to deliver the game's first pitch at 7:07 PM (ET), and the Blue Jays are fetching a moneyline price in the upper-130s. David Phelps answers the bell for the Yankees, and a 9 run total that leans to the 'under' at many shops is available for scoreboard bettors.

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Buehrle Still Chasing Elusive Win No. 11
Phelps spent all of April in the New York bullpen where he made nine appearances before joining the rotation in May. The Yankees lost six of his first seven starts, but the former star at Notre Dame has rebounded with consecutive wins the last two times out.

One of those was last Thursday in the Bronx against these Blue Jays, Phelps going seven strong frames with seven strikeouts and only two runs coming plateward. That was his fourth start vs. Toronto, to go with four relief outings, and Phelps is 3-0 lifetime vs. the Jays with a 3.43 ERA.

Buehrle raced to 10 wins in his first 12 starts, but has since run into a roadblock trying to earn dubya No. 11. The veteran lefty has lost his last three assignments, the most recent coming last Wednesday in New York where the Yankees scored a 7-3 decision. Buehrle only allowed three runs (2 earned) in his six innings, and the Jays are now 0-5 in his starts vs. the Yanks since coming to Toronto a year ago, his ERA at 4.64 in those contests.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Toby Basner, who won't turn 30 until next month, is about to umpire his ninth game behind the plate after having all of eight dish assignments in a part-time role the past two seasons. He hasn't made a lot of friends with players early in his career, but 'over' bettors are loving his 6-2 O/U record so far in 2014.

The roof was shut Monday at Rogers Centre, and it appears that Game 2 will also be played indoors. Toronto's forecast for Tuesday includes an 80% chance of thunderstorms, some possibly severe, lingering into the evening, and things aren't looking bright and sunny for Wednesday either.

Toronto will still be without Bautista and Lawrie tonight, with Lawrie expected to miss about a month with a busted finger. But the news on Bautista is a bit better, a very mild hamstring pull that may only cost him the rest of this week. The Blue Jays got even more good news Monday when Adam Lind was able to play following a foot injury.

Despite Monday's outcome, I'm still liking the Yankees tonight against Buehrle. Let's run with a free pick on New York as the underdog in Game 2.

MLB Pick: Yankees +130

Season: 70-71 (-1.05)

 

23rd June
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

Two of the three teams fighting it out in the AL East get together to begin the week's baseball betting slate when the New York Yankees make their second trip of the season to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays.

One thing all three teams -- Baltimore being the other -- at the top of the division have in common is a better record on the road than at home, and the Blue Jays will do their best to change that as they nurse a slim 1.5-game lead over the Yankees and Orioles.  Game 1 is scheduled for a 7:07 PM (ET) first pitch from Toronto's Marcus Stroman, Chase Whitley his counterpart for New York.

Overnight wagering has pushed the moneyline up a bit on the Blue Jays who are currently drawing chalk in the -115 to -125 range. SBR's live MLB odds show 9 for the total.

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Yanks & Jays Bring 2-Game Skids Into Series
Masahiro Tanaka proved human for just the second time in his career as New York (39-35, +0.3 units, 32-42 O/U) dropped an 8-0 decision to the Orioles on Sunday, the Yankees 2nd-straight loss to end a 4-2 homestand that started with a sweep of the Blue Jays a week ago. Other than their thin rotation, the only injury of concern in the lineup is Mark Teixeira who was hit on the left foot by a pitch Sunday and is day-to-day.

Injuries bit Toronto (42-35, +5.8 units, 38-37-2 O/U/P) at the end of a long road trip that proved very unsuccessful (3-7 at Baltimore, New York and Cincinnati). All signs point to the Blue Jays beginning this 9-game homestand minus at least two key bats in their lineup, Jose Bautista (left leg) and Brett Lawrie (broken finger). Bautista is reportedly having an MRI on his leg Monday when Lawrie is expected to be placed on the DL, plus SS Jose Reyes is still dealing with a bruised shin from the weekend series with the Reds.

The Yankees own a 308-235 all-time record in this series, and they've owned this season as well with five wins in their first six meetings with the Blue Jays. New York brings a 4-game win streak vs. Toronto into this set, winning two of three at Rogers Centre in April before last week's broom job in the Bronx.

New York has won 98 of the 194 games played at Rogers Centre since it opened midway through the 1989 campaign. Two of the three games in April on this field went 'over' the total after four of the previous six stayed 'under' with another pushing an 8 run mark.


Whitley Impressive As Fill-In For Injury-Depleted NY Rotation
Manager Joe Girardi would no doubt love to have CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova healthy, but he can't complain about the job Whitley has done since being called up in mid-May. The 25-year-old rookie has made seven starts, New York winning six of them, holding up his end of the bargain and then some with a 2.56 ERA after beating the Blue Jays last Wednesday for his third consecutive victory.

Toronto originally brought Stroman up in early May to work out of the bullpen, and he was coming off two disastrous relief appearances when he was inserted into the rotation at the end of May. He has remained in the mix with Brandon Morrow still nursing a finger injury, and has pitched much better though he was on the losing end of the series opener last week in the Bronx, a 3-1 New York decision behind Tanaka. Stroman had an ERA approaching 13 when he became a part of the starting mix, and it's sub-3.00 since.

Monday begins with a lot of sun in Toronto, but that is supposed to give way to rain this evening. The wet stuff continues through Tuesday, so we expect the roof at the old SkyDome to remain shut for the first two games in this set.

The 'under' was the first direction I was leaning for my free pick, but New York as a small 'dog is where my money will be for the series opener.

MLB Pick: Yankees +105

Season: 70-69 (+1.25)