New York Yankees (59-52) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (53-59)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 10th, 7:07 pm EST
Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12 ERA)
Line: NY Yankees -140/Toronto +130
The Yankees and the Blue Jays close out a three game series in Toronto on Thursday. The Blue Jays really do have to sweep this series if they still plan on having any chance at a wild card spot. Even then, they will have a lot of work to do, but they did get off to a good start, winning the opening game on Tuesday by a score of 4-2. The win brought the Blue Jays within 6.5 games of the Yankees and the first wild card.
A sweep would get the Blue Jays within 4.5 games of the Yankees and with almost 50 games still to be played, that would certainly be feasible. If they only win two of three then they stay 6.5 games back and with several teams ahead of them, that may be too much to overcome. Safe to say, these are big games for both teams.
Gray takes loss in debut
Sonny Gray will be making his second start for the Yankees, after losing to the Indians in his first start out. He didn’t pitch poorly, but the Yankees gave him no run support so the two innings over six innings, only got him the loss. He now faces a lousy team who still has a very formidable lineup, and if he loses again you know he’ll start hearing it from the Yankee fans.
On the year, Gray’s numbers are still very solid. The loss dropped him to 6-6, but his ERA is still a very respectable 3.41 and he’s got 100 strikeouts in 103 innings. His WHIP of 1.17 and batting average against of .225 are also very solid.
Estrada looks for fifth win
Marco Estrada will be looking for only his fifth win of the year on Thursday. This will be his 24th start, and obviously the Blue Jays had much bigger expectations than this for their 34-year old right hander. He’s been very solid for several years now, but he is 34 and I’m sure that has something to do with the diminishing returns he has given the Blue Jays this year.
He’s pitched better as of late, going 19 innings over his last three starts, and allowing a very reasonable six earned runs. He’s gotten three no decisions over that span however, keeping with a trend this year. He now has 12 no decisions, more than half of his starts, and six of his last seven have ended without a decision.
The New York Yankees are:
- 7-19 in their last 26 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 1-4 in their last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
The Toronto Blue Jays are:
- 4-1 in their last 5 games following a loss.
- 5-2 in their last 7 home games.
- 5-2 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
I said to bet against Sonny Gray in his first start and he took the loss against the Indians. I’m betting against him again on Thursday. Not that he won’t pitch well, but he’s never faced the pressure of New York or pennant fever pressure, so I’ll trade to fade him till he wins a few.