Pitching Mismatch Gives Blue Jays the Edge Against Yankees in Tonight's Rubber Match

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, April 9, 2015 3:52 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015 3:52 PM GMT

Follow Joe Gavazzi as he previews tonight's rubber match between the Blue Jays and Yankees. Before you place your bets, don't miss what this expert has in store for your MLB Picks.

Toronto Blue Jays (D. Norris) (-1 ½ R/-145) vs. NY Yankees (Sabathia) 7:05 ET
The Blue Jays and Yankees wind up this 3-game set, after splitting the 2 previous games and tonight the Blue Jays are offered as short favorites on the MLB betting odds. On Mondayafternoon, Toronto cruised to a 6-1 victory with Hutchison dominating against Tanaka.  Last night, the Yankees evened the series with a 4-3 win. That came courtesy of a 3-run eighth inning after Dickey and Pineda had authored a pitchers’ duel through the first 6 innings. Tonight, it is rookie, Daniel Morris, for the Blue Jays against established veteran, CC Sabathia for the Yankees.  If the line looks a bit skewed, it is for good reason as I will detail below.  

 

The Yankees are a fading franchise. In the last 3 seasons, they have gone from 95 to 85 to 84 victories. They will be fortunate to attain a winning record this season.  Gone is the clubhouse leadership of Derek Jeter.  In his place, is a ticking, time bomb in A-Rod. Aging veterans, Teixeira and Beltran, will struggle with a 162-game campaign. The top of the pitching staff is an injury plagued group that could head for the DL on a moment’s notice. Tanaka chose rehab over surgery on his ailing elbow.   Pineda has made only 13 starts since 2011. But neither of those veteran starters is as much a question mark as his former Yankee ace, CC Sabathia.  Beginning in 2006, Sabathia posted an ERA of 3.83 or better in 8 consecutive seasons, culminating with his 200 IP of work in 2012 for NYY. In that span, his WHIP never exceeded 1.23.  But, those seasons are a distant memory when reviewing his 2013 and 2014 campaign.  Sabathia went just 14-13 in 2013 with a 4.78 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.  Last year, in just 8 starts, Sabathia had a 5.28 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and .301 BAA.  He missed the remainder of the 2014 season with surgery on his ailing 34-year old knee.  There were few signs that he would return to the Sabathia of old when, in 10 IP of Spring ball, he allowed 9 runs on 14 hits, including 3 homeruns. We love to find aging pitchers to fade! Sabathia clearly fits the mold.

 

Though Toronto has a couple of aging hurlers in their own right, in Buehrle and Dickey, the future is bright for young Blue Jay hurlers. None is more highly thought of than lefthander, Daniel Norris, who will take the mound tonight. He is expected to lead to a Toronto resurgence that saw the team go from 74 to 83 wins last year.  Many of you are aware that the 21-year old Norris was given a $2 million signing bonus, but continues to live in his 1978 Volkswagen van.  He was outstanding last year in the minors with his 97 MPH fastball recording 11.8 Ks/9 IP. That work continued this spring with 29 Ks in 24 2/3 IP of spring ball.  

Want more betting options? Check out this capper's picks for tonight!

This could be a game in which the starters have a dichotomous performance. Noting the potential for a Toronto blowout, we can take advantage with the Blue Jays’ run line record. No team in MLB had fewer 1-run games than the Jays last year.  In fact, 68 of Toronto’s 83 wins (82%) were decided by 2 or more runs. The record on the road saw Toronto win 32 of their 37 road victories (86%) by 2 or more runs. This is a carryover from 2013 which now shows a 2-year road record of 57/71 Toronto road victories (over 80%) were by 2 or more runs. Going hand in glove with these results is the fact that in the last 2 years combined, 58 of 73 (79%) of NYY home losses have been by 2 or more runs, including 29/38 last year. With a healthy return of +145 on the run line, we are eager to back Toronto in this pitching mismatch for our MLB picks.

MLB Picks: Take Toronto Blue Jays

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