Toronto will wrap up its four-game series at New York on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Jays picked up two big wins to open the series on Thursday and Friday, but the Yankees still hold a comfortable lead in the American League East. This story was published prior to Saturday’s third game of the series.
Manoah hoping for deeper startToronto has been dealing with inconsistency since returning from the All-Star break. The Blue Jays opened the second half with eight wins in a 10-game stretch. They proceeded to lose nine of their next 12 games, with four of those losses coming against Baltimore. Toronto bounced back earlier this week, winning three straight games after taking the first two games of this series. The Blue Jays will wrap up their seven-game road trip with three games in Boston next week. They are currently eight games back of New York for second place in the AL East. Toronto has one game of wiggle room for the second AL Wild Card spot.
A wild Chicken Strip appeared 😭 pic.twitter.com/nXDLbcUrc8— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 20, 2022
The Blue Jays have been a fantastic offensive team this season, leading the majors with a batting average of .263. First baseman Vlad Guerrero Jr. tops Toronto with 128 hits, including 26 home runs. Shortstop Bo Bichette has 123 hits, while left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has 120 base knocks. They will be facing a New York pitching staff that ranks third in the majors with an ERA of 3.35. Right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah is going to be on the mound for Toronto on Sunday. He allowed four runs on four hits and four walks across 5.2 innings against Baltimore on Tuesday. Manoah has failed to make it through six innings in three of his last four starts—he now has a career-high workload of 142.2 innings. He still has an impressive 2.71 ERA and 1.04 WHIP overall this year.
Yankees trying to regain first-half formNew York dominated the opening half of the season, but the Yankees have struggled since the beginning of the month. The Yankees showed some signs that they were not going to be quite as dominant in the second half after going 6-6 in their first 12 games after the All-Star break. They have been atrocious since then, going 3-13 in their last 16 contests. New York has not won consecutive games since June 30 when it won three straight against Kansas City. The Yankees gave themselves plenty of cushion in the AL East, though, as they are still eight games ahead of Toronto and nine games ahead of Tampa Bay. They are 10 games back of the Dodgers for the best record in the majors.
Flo gets us on the board 👊 pic.twitter.com/8kXwkNBeUM— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 20, 2022
The Yankees have struggled with consistency at the plate this year, ranked No. 18 in team batting average (.241). Right fielder Aaron Judge leads the team with 127 hits, including an MLB-best 46 home runs. Designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton is not expected to return until next week due to an Achilles injury. New York is facing a Toronto pitching staff that is No. 15 with an ERA of 3.88. Left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes is going to be on the bump for New York. He allowed three runs on four hits while striking out three in seven innings. Cortes has allowed three runs or fewer in six straight starts, posting a 2.72 ERA during those 36.1 frames.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Yankees are not a team that many people are wanting to back right now, but I think they are worth a wager on Sunday afternoon. These starting pitchers are trending in opposite directions right now. Cortes has allowed three or fewer runs in six straight starts, posting an impressive 2.72 ERA during that stretch. Meanwhile, the heavy workload seems to be getting to Manoah, who has failed to go six innings in three of his last four starts. He has never seen a workload like this during his career, so the late-season fatigue should not come as a surprise.
Full-Game Total Pick
I am going to take this opportunity to fade Manoah, as I expect his recent struggles to continue on Sunday. He is not used to pitching this many innings in a single season, and now he has to face one of the most powerful lineups in the majors. New York is also disappointed with its recent stretch of games, so the Yankees will be motivated heading into this contest. Cortes is likely going to give up at least two or three runs against the top hitting team in baseball, which will put the over in a good spot.