The New York Yankees are in real danger of missing the playoffs and need to win against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday to avoid losing six straight in the AL East.
New York is just a half-game up on Baltimore, who won three straight against the Yanks before their latest slide in Toronto extended their losing streak to five. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are up by three games on New York for second in the division.
Keep reading for abe Insights' preview, wherein you'll find a breakdown of the essential betting lines, the best odds at publication, advanced stats and more to help your strategy before placing wagers.
Date: Wednesday, September 9
Time: 6:37 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Implied Probabilities: Yankees 57%; Blue Jays 44%
Spread: NYY -1.5 (+116); TOR +1.5 (-125)
Moneyline: NYY -130; TOR +128
Pinstripes sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton continue to sit on the injured list with respective calf and hamstring injuries. Third baseman Gio Urshela has also been out of action for almost a week, and shortstop Gleyber Torres returned this weekend from injury, and has just two hits in 11 at bats since.
Torres' would-be counterpart Bo Bichette continues to be out for Toronto, along with closer Ken Giles and outfielder Teoscar Hernandez. As for Wednesday's starting pitchers, New York youngster Deivi Garcia will make his third big-league start against Jays veteran Tanner Roark, whose struggles since a sensational 2016 campaign persist.
3.1 vs. 0.1: In FanGraphs' Wins Above Replacement pitching split, Toronto's relievers rank first all of baseball. The metric isn't as kind to New York's bullpen, as its platoon ranks seventh-worst, barely above replacement-level as a collective unit.
38.8 vs. 36.6: The Bronx Bombers were an epic power-hitting group last season, yet in 2020, they're tied for 25th out of 30 teams in hard hit percentage. Toronto is far better in tying the Twins for 12th. Missing Hernandez and Bichette is a big blow, though.
10.9 vs. 9.6: One stat where New York is better than the Jays on offense is in walk percentage. The visitors' fourth-highest rate of drawing bases on balls is especially notable in light of Roark's 1.79 WHIP this season.
Since Bichette went down for the Jays, they've won 16 of 23 games, responding far better to key injuries than New York has. However, to be fair, the Pinstripes have been struck worse. It'll be telling to see how Toronto fares in the long run if Hernandez can't return to action soon, as he leads the team with 14 homers and 27 RBI.
One young stud who's risen to the occasion for the hosts is Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who contributed two RBI to Monday's 10-run sixth inning amid a recent scalding stretch at the dish (14-for 30) to earn American League Player of the Week honors.
"We feel like it's our responsibility now to take over...We all feel like we’ve got to be responsible and try to do our best until they come back," said Gurriel of stepping up in place of his injured teammates, per Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.
Roark hasn't changed his pitching arsenal or tactics much at all even as he continues a decline from winning 16 games with the Nationals in 2016. The 33-year-old has allowed eight homers in seven starts, so it stands to reason someone on the Yankees will go yard on Wednesday night.
Since the sample size is so small on Garcia, a limited scouting report may work in his favor. After throwing six scoreless innings in his MLB debut versus the Mets, Garcia came back to Earth against Baltimore, getting tagged for four runs in 4.2 innings. He'll need to have a short memory off that showing as he braces for a dangerous Jays batting order.
That's a high run total, but given Roark's issues and Garcia's greenness, both starting pitchers could be in peril early. The sooner the Jays can trot out their bullpen, the better. In any event, expect bettors to skew their wagers to the Over.
As for the spread and moneyline, until the Yankees get healthier or rally around their replacement players, there's little reason for the betting public to have confidence in them. Look for more action to go on the Jays' generous +1.5 spread and better-paying moneyline.
Note: Odds current as of 2:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 9.
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