The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays will kick off a three-game divisional series Friday evening from Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays will send 35-year old right-hander Marco Estrada to the hill, and the Yankees will hand the ball to 29-year old right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees lead the season-series 12-4.
Estrada Rebounds with Quality Start Against Indians
Marco Estrada will take the mound for the 26th time of the season, aiming for his first win since August 20th. Estrada rebounded from two straight disastrous outings by holding the Indians to only two runs in six innings last time out, leading to the no-decision in a 3-2 Blue Jays’ victory. The veteran right-hander is having one of the worst seasons of his 10-year career, posting a 5.32 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP accompanied with a 7-11 record in 130.2 innings of work. Estrada has squandered nine runs with a 1-0 record in 18 innings against the Yankees this season, and he stands at 7-3 with a 4.11 ERA in 105 career innings against the Bronx Bombers.
Justin Smoak features outstanding stats against the Yankees this season, registering a .340 average with three homers and 16 RBI’s in 53 at bats. The 31-year old first baseman is having a solid season, hitting .246 with 24 home runs and 74 RBI’s. Smoak has driven in four runs in his seven games. The Blue Jays are currently averaging 4.43 runs per game, ranking them 16th in the big leagues. The Toronto pitching staff is having a rough year, carrying a 4.86 team ERA, pegging them 27th in the big leagues.
Tanaka Spins Gem in Second Straight Win
Masahiro Tanaka will get the nod for the 25th time of the season, hunting for his third consecutive victory. Tanaka was brilliant in his previous performance, firing eight shutout innings against the Mariners, leading to the win to improve his record to 11-5. The fifth-year right-hander has limited his opponents to only one run in his last 15 innings, and he currently features a 3.61 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 142 innings of work on the season. Tanaka held the Blue Jays to one run in six innings in a 4-2 win in the lone meeting this year, and he features a 10-4 record with an excellent 2.86 ERA in 16 career starts against the division rivals.
Miguel Andujar has done big damage against the Blue Jays pitching, posting a .375 average with 16 RBI’s in 48 at bats. The 23-year old third baseman is having a tremendous rookie campaign and he is a prime candidate to land AL Rookie of the Year. He is currently hitting .299 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI’s. Andujar has driven in four runs on the month. The Yankees potent lineup ranks second in all of baseball with an average of 5.09 runs per game. The New York pitching staff features a 3.76 team ERA, positioning them 10th in the Majors.
The New York Yankees are:
- 5-0 in Tanaka’s last 5 home starts against the Blue Jays.
- 10-1 in Tanaka’s last 11 starts on six days of rest.
- 7-0 in their last 7 games against the AL East.
The Toronto Blue Jays are:
- 0-5 in their last 5 games against the Yankees.
- 2-10 in their last 12 road games.
- 7-20 in their last 27 games against a starter with a WHIP below 1.15.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the Yankees on the run line (-1.5) in this matchup. The Yankees have dominated the Blue Jays this season, winning 12 of the 16 meetings, and 10 of their 12 wins came by at least two runs. Furthermore, Blue Jays’ starter Marco Estrada is struggling, while Masahiro Tanaka is locked in on the mound, allowing only one run in his last 15 innings of work.
Prediction: New York Yankees -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a solid option in this matchup. The Yankees have scored a combined 28 runs in their last three games against the Blue Jays, and the over is 5-1 in their last six home games against Toronto. The Blue Jays are swinging the bats reasonably well recently, averaging 4.7 runs in their last seven games heading into Thursday’s game, and the over is 17-7-1 in their last 25 road games.
Prediction: Over 8.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am selecting the over on the Yankees team total. The Yankees are averaging 5.6 runs in 16 games against the Blue Jays this season, and they have plated at least five runs in four out of their last five games against Toronto.
Prediction: Yankees Team Total: Over 5.5
First Five Innings Side Pick
I am staying with New York on the five-inning line. Mashiro Tanaka has allowed two or fewer runs in four out of his last five starts, and he limited Toronto to only one run in six innings in his lone matchup this season. In addition, Marco Estrada owns a subpar 4.11 career ERA against the Yankees, and he is carrying an awful 5.37 ERA on the road this season.
Prediction: New York Yankees -1.5
First Five Innings Total Bet
I am taking the over on the five inning line. Marco Estrada has surrendered a combined 13 runs in his last 12.1 innings, and the Bronx Bombers should have a productive night against him. Furthermore, while I expect Tanaka to contain Toronto’s offense, he does own a mediocre 4.03 ERA at Yankee Stadium.
Prediction: Over 5
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I am taking the Yankees to score first. Marco Estrada possesses a terrible 5.55 ERA in his 24.1 innings pitched in the first inning this season, and the Yankees second highest scoring inning takes place in the opening frame with 98 runs scored. Tanaka features a 3.38 ERA in the first inning, followed by 2.25 ERA in the second.
Prediction: Team to Score First: New York Yankees -165