No A-Rod and a potential All-Star hangover equal a fade on the Yankees
The Yankees begin the second-half of the season locked in a tight battle
with the Red Sox for supremacy in the American League East. It’s a race that
most believe will go right down to the wire.
New York opens an eight-game road trip when they visit the Blue Jays in
the opener of a four-game series in Toronto. Bartolo Colon (6-4, 3.20) will go
for New York while lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (4-7, 4.57) gets the start for the Jays.
The betting odds opened with Colon as a -150 favorite on the money line with
the total at 9.5. Game time is set for 7:07 PM ET at the Rogers Centre.
Hitting the Break
The Yankees won their final two games before the All-Star game break to
improve to 53-35 on the year. They have won six of their last ten to stay a 1/2
game behind the Red Sox and even though they’re just 15-13 against the AL East
they’ve been solid in MLB betting when playing on the road (23-16) and against
lefthanders (18-8). The Yanks are 5-3 against the Jays this season splitting
the two games in Toronto.
The Jeter watch aside, it’s been a quiet month for the Yankees who are
5-5 in July and are hitting just .245 with seven home runs. They’ll be without
Alex Rodriguez for at least the next four weeks after the veteran third baseman
underwent knee surgery but unlike past years when that would have been
considered a crippling blow NY should handle his absence just fine.
Trouble at home
begins the night 11 games behind Boston and will need to pick up the pace at
home (19-22) and against the AL East (14-20) if they hope to narrow the gap.
The Jays swept the Indians in their final three games before the break scoring
23 runs in the process and they’ll look to continue that surge against Colon.
Jose Bautista is
proving that last year’s 54 home runs weren’t a fluke. Once again he’s leading
the majors in homers (31), is third in hitting (.334) and is seventh in runs
batted in with 65. This month alone he’s hit seven round-trippers and knocked
in 13 runs. Against the Yankees, Bautista has a .240 lifetime average with 12
home runs and 27 RBI’s.
strong first-half was one of the surprise stories in baseball and the Yankees will
need for him to continue his comeback if they hope to keep up with red-hot Red
For now Colon is
viewed as a medical miracle. He didn’t
pitch last year because of damage to the rotator cuff, ligaments and tendons.
In March of 2010, Colon underwent a stem cell transplant to repair the damage
to his right shoulder. The results have been amazing but are being viewed by skepticism
in many corners including Major League Baseball which is reviewing medical
records from the procedure.
Colon is 9-4
lifetime against Toronto but lost in
his only appearance this year. He’s been tough on the road this season going
4-1 and has allowed just five runs in 18 1/3 innings away from the Bronx.
Reyes has faced the
Yankees one time in his career suffering a 7-3 defeat on May 25. It was also
his 28th consecutive loss, a streak that he would snap five days
later in a victory over the Indians.
Derek Jeter goes
for career hit number 3,005 as he continues to receive flack for his decision
to skip the All-Star game. I don’t blame the guy a bit given the intense media
scrutiny and everybody wanting a piece of him as he approached 3,000 hits.
The ‘under’ is
12-3-1 in New York’s last 16 road games and 8-2-1 in their last 11 games
overall. However the two teams topped the total in their two April meetings at
the Rogers Centre.
Harvey’s Take: I’m making a small play on Toronto.
My guess is the Yankees will come out a bit flat plus their lineup will be a
work in progress with A-Rod out.