The New York Yankees made quick work of Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night. The Yanks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back in the 12-2 victory. CC Sabathia stifled what had been a red-hot Toronto offense, and the two teams will go at it again Friday night with Michael Pineda going up against Francisco Liriano.
Pineda’s inconsistency has always been maddening, but it seems as though he’s finally turned a corner to begin 2017. The burly right-hander still allows too many home runs, but he’s done a fabulous job of limiting damage against him this season. Pineda has gone at least five innings in all but one of his 10 starts, including five consecutive outings of six innings or more. He’s kept the walks down and the strikeouts have gone up. Pineda’s K-rate of 27.5% would be one of the best marks in baseball if he’s able to keep it up all year long.
The Blue Jays will be getting an enigmatic starter of their own off the DL to start tonight. Francisco Liriano has essentially been the left-handed version of Michael Pineda for the last few years. He’ll twirl a gem every now and again that’ll make you wonder how he ever gives up runs, then he’ll go out there and get blasted and fail to make it out of the first inning. Take his first two starts of the season. Liriano lasted 1/3 of an inning in his first game of the season against the Rays. One start later, he pitched into the seventh while striking out 10 Orioles.
Walks are Liriano’s main problem. If he can keep those to a minimum, he has a decent shot at taming what has been a potent Yankee lineup for the majority of the season to this point. That said, New York is far more powerful against right-handed pitching than they are against lefties like Liriano. We like him to pitch well tonight and limit the Yankees’ offensive potential.
Vegas has slapped this game with an early over/under of nine runs. The over is certainly in play here given the respective volatility of the two starting pitchers, but something tells us we’re in for a pitcher’s duel in this one. If the roof is open again in chilly Toronto, that figures to negatively impact the hitting conditions. Pineda hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since his first outing of the season back on April 5.
We’re leaning strongly toward taking the Under with this game. Nine is a hefty total, and it’s just too high to stomach in this spot. We think it’s a safe suggestion to say these teams won’t combine to score more than nine runs in this game.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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