The New York Yankees continue their heated series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, as the two sides clash in the Rogers Center. The Yanks set the tone for this series after shelling the normally stable Marco Estrada (12-2) in game one and will be looking for another big win as they prepare for game three of an intense four-game series battle.
New York has done well to stave off the rising Jays, while at the same time protecting their spot atop the AL East. Toronto still deserves credit for their hot run, as the Jays have stormed back from a brutal start to their 2017 campaign to give themselves a shot at making a run at the top of the division.
The Blue Jays still have a ways to go, but have been largely in solid form. They could still use a big win on Saturday to propel them closer to .500 as they continue to work their way up the AL East ranks. Toronto enters as mild favorites, but anytime we get some value with the hard-hitting Yankees we need to make sure we have an amazing reason not to jump all over it.
Let’s see which side we should be taking as Saturday’s afternoon tilt draws closer:
New York Yankees (+112)
Toronto Blue Jays (-122)
Divisional rivalry games can always go any way, especially when the supposedly superior team is on the road. We can’t know for sure which team is superior in this matchup, as the Jays have been dealing with health woes all year and are just now 100%.
Toronto is a potential problem for the Yanks, but New York does strike us as the more powerful unit. They’ve certainly raced out to a huge AL East lead to this point and boast arguably the best offense in baseball. The latter is the key reason to consider backing the Yankees as a fun upset pick on Saturday afternoon, as their heavy bats could again get them out of a jam on the road.
New York draws a favorable matchup with the young Joe Biagini (1-3, 3.64 ERA), who flashed some K upside (7 strikeouts) in his last start and could be talking the Jays into handing him a regular spot in the pitching rotation. Biagini was strong in his first start in 2017, as the 27-year old righty shut out the Rays. He followed up that stellar outing with another shutout in five innings against the Mariners.
While there could be some upside to Biagini, there is also obvious downside after Toronto has seen their young pitcher get knocked around a bit in his last three trips to the mound. Biagini gave up five runs three starts ago at the Braves and has struggled a bit with his command while allowing five runs over his last two starts. Nothing he’s shown has been too incriminating, but going against a deadly Yankees team, there won’t be much room for error. That reality intensifies with the splits favoring the Yanks, who crush right-handed pitching. New York ranks 3rd in home runs versus righties so far in 2017 and has cranked out the second best batting average in the majors against right-handed hurlers, as well.
Biagini could still potentially hold his own at home if he continues to induce soft contact, while his blistering 0.92 ERA at the Rogers Center only aids the argument of bettors backing the favored Jays. Those same bettors are also putting themselves against a stacked Yankees offense that could shred this matchup and just demolished a much more established arm in Marco Estrada.
Things could be problematic for the Jays on the other side, too, as talented rookie southpaw Jordan Montgomery aims to stifle Toronto’s bats. Montgomery has really calmed himself down after a few spotty starts, as he’s been dialed in with two strong trips to the mound in a row. The 24-year old lefty held a tough Orioles squad to just one run in Baltimore in his last start, while also stifling the Royals (2 hits, 1 run) at Yankee Stadium in the start prior.
Montgomery has displayed solid swing and miss stuff early in 2017 and could be in a solid spot here against a Jays lineup that on the year has struggled (20th in BA, 21st in power) against lefties.
Two young pitchers face off here and the Yanks bring the more reliable bats. New York feels like a great team to target anytime they’re the underdog, and this setting doesn’t show us anything to think otherwise. Sure, the Jays could hold serve at home here, but with the value and upside, we’ll back the Yankees and won’t think twice.
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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