Slowly but surely the New York Yankees are pulling away in
the AL East. They'll try to continue building upon their advantage as they host
the Toronto Blue Jays for the first of three at The Stadium Monday night.
Game 3 Preview & Pick
New York has taken the first two games of this series by
scores of 6-3 and 6-1, winning as favorites of -170 and -235. Also, both games
in this series have stayed 'under' on the totals.
The Yanks have now beaten the Jays seven times in a row at
In a key personnel move Toronto placed slugger Jose Bautista
on the DL Tuesday after he suffered a wrist injury in Monday's game.
For Wednesday's pitching matchup Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.67)
will go for New York against Ricky Romero (8-5, 5.03) for Toronto.
Kuroda is 10-for-18 in quality starts this season, and the
Yanks are 10-8 in his starts. He had been pitching well lately, allowing nine
ER in 41 innings during the month of June, but in his last two outings he's
gotten clipped for 11 ER on 18 hits in 13 innings.
On the season Kuroda has given up 112 hits, including 15
homers, in 115 innings.
In his one start this season against the Jays Kuroda got
bombed for seven runs on eight hits, including three dongs, in five innings of
an 8-1 Yankees loss back in May.
Romero, meanwhile, is eight-for-19 in quality starts this
year, but Toronto is 11-8 in games he's started. But they have lost his last
four outings, two because he got hit hard and two because they got shut out.
Last week against Cleveland Romero allowed one run in six innings, and just
before that he gave up two runs in six innings against the White Sox. But those
games came after he had allowed eight runs in each of his two previous starts.
On the season Romero has allowed 110 hits, among them 16
dingers, in 116 innings. But he's also walked 60 guys, which is way too many.
Romero hasn't pitched against New York this season, but in
four starts against the Yanks last year he gave up 11 ER on 26 hits in 24 2/3
innings. The Jays lost three of those games.
The ‘OVER/UNDERS’ are 14-4 in Romero's starts this season,
6-12 in Kuroda's starts.
As of early Wednesday morning the best price we could find
on New York was the -175 being offered at The Greek, while Toronto could be
gotten at +170 at Matchbook. The Yanks could also be played on the run line at
+115 at Pinnacle.
Also, most baseball books are listing the total on
Wednesday's game at 10.
Free MLB Pick
It doesn't take an “expert” to back the Yankees, and we
don't take any particular pride in doing so, but we've backed them in the first
two games of this series and picked up a couple of wins. So we'll stick with
them as they go for the sweep Wednesday afternoon.
MLB Picks: Pick the Yankees
Game 2 preview and pick
New York won the opener of this series Monday night, 6-3, thanks to a grand slam by Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the eighth.
So New York, at 55-34, now leads the AL East by nine games
over second-place Baltimore, and is one game up on Texas in the race for the
best record in the American League.
The Jays, meanwhile, at 45-45, have dropped to 10.5 games
behind the Yankees in the divisional race. But they're still only two games
behind the Orioles in the battle for the second AL Wild-Card berth.
The really big news from Monday was the wrist injury
suffered by Toronto slugger Jose Bautista that caused him to leave the game. He
is very questionable for Tuesday's game and beyond.
For Tuesday's pitching matchup C.C. Sabathia (9-3, 3.45) will
come off the DL (groin) to start for the Yanks against Brett Cecil (2-1, 6.75)
for the Jays.
C.C. is nine-for-15 on quality starts this year, and New York
is 11-4 in games he's started. Just before he went on the DL three weeks ago, Sabby allowed five runs, although just one earned, on nine hits in 5 2/3
innings vs. the Mets. That outing came on the heels of a dominating performance
against the Braves.
On the season, Sabathia has given up 107 hits in 107 innings,
walked 29 and stuck out 105. Also, C.C. has gone at least seven innings in 11 of
his 15 starts, although he is likely to be on a pitch count Tuesday night.
This will be Sabby's first start against the Jays this year;
last year, in four starts vs. Toronto, he gave up 11 ER on 27 hits in 30
innings. The Yankees won three of those games.
Fellow lefty Cecil, by our strict standards, has just one
quality start in five outings this year, but thanks to some serious offensive
support Toronto has won four of his five starts. Cecil, who didn't join the Jays
until mid-June, was OK in his first two starts, allowing three runs over 11
innings, but over his last three starts, including a minor bombing at the hands
of the White Sox nine days ago, he's allowed 14 ER on 21 hits in 15 2/3
On the year Cecil has given up 31 hits, including six
homers, in 27 innings.
Cecil hasn't started vs. the Yankees this year, but in two
starts against them last year he got clipped for nine ER in 11 innings.
In perusing online baseball betting outlets Tuesday morning
the best price we could find on New York for Tuesday night's game was the -225
at Bookmaker. On the other side of this bet the Jays could be had at +220 at
The Yankees can also be gotten giving the run and a half on
the run line at -113 at Pinnacle.
Free MLB Pick
While we're not
usually fans of taking home teams on the run lines, there's only one way for us
to play this game, and that's taking New York giving the run and a half.
Game 1 Preview and Pick
To set the scene, the Yankees just took two of three games
at home from the Angels, missing out on the sweep by losing Sunday 10-8. But
the two teams closest to them in the AL East standings, the Orioles and Rays,
also lost Sunday, missing out on a chance to pick up a game. So New York, at
54-34, leads Baltimore by eight games and Tampa by 8.5.
The Jays, meanwhile, just took two of three games from
Cleveland over the weekend. But at 45-44 they're still 9.5 games back of the
Yankees. However, Toronto is only 1.5 games behind the Orioles, who own the
second AL Wild-Card berth at the moment. So the Jays aren't out of anything
Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.33) will start the opener of this series
Monday night (7:05 pm Eastern) for New York against Henderson Alvarez (5-7,
4.36) for Toronto.
Hughes has just seven quality starts this season out of 17 tries, and the Yanks
are 9-8 in games he's started. But he has been better as of late, with five QS
in his last seven outings. Most recently Hughes gave up three earned runs on 10
hits in 5 1/3 innings vs. Boston the day before the All-Star break, but over
his last three starts he's allowed just five ER in 21 1/3 innings.
On the season Hughes has given up 107 hits, including 19
homers, in 100 innings, but his K/BB ratio is very good, at 92/23.
In his one start this year vs. the Jays Hughes allowed two
runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 4-1 New York loss at Rogers Centre
back in May.
On the other side of Monday's pitching matchup Alvarez is
nine-for-17 on quality starts this year, but only two for his last nine. And Toronto is a lousy 5-12 in games
he's started. Most recently Alvarez got slapped around by the Royals for five
runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings, and he's given up at least four ER in
six of his last nine starts. So after a promising start to this season maybe
the league is beginning to get to Alvarez.
For the season Alvarez has allowed 124 hits, including 17
dongs, in 107 innings, and while he's only walked 23, he's only struck out 36.
So there are a lot of balls put into play when Alvarez pitches.
In his one career start vs. the Yankees, which came last
September, Alvarez got clipped for five runs on nine hits in six innings.
As of Monday morning, in perusing several online baseball
betting outlets, favored New York could be gotten at -169 at Matchbook, while
the Jays could be had at +168 at 5Dimes.
The Yankees are also available at +115 on the run line at
And most sportsbooks are listing the total on Monday's game
Early betting on Monday's game has seen about 70 percent of
action on the side come in on the Yankees, and about 60 percent of action on
the total has come in on the OVER.
These teams have only met once earlier this year, back in
May in Toronto, when the Blue Jays swept two games from New York.
Free MLB Pick
Hughes has been improving after a slow start to this season,
while Alvarez is going in the opposite direction. So we'll go with the obvious MLB pick here and take the Yankees.