Blue Jays vs. Yankees Odds & Picks: Fade Yusei Kikuchi Again?
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge
- The Blue Jays face the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday night.
- Yusei Kikuchi had success against the Yankees in his last outing, but will he fare well again in this spot?
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Blue Jays vs. Yankees Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||+145|
|Over/Under||7.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Yusei Kikuchi will face the New York Yankees for the third time already this season while Luis Severino will go against the Toronto Blue Jays for the second time. Kikuchi mowed down this lefty-destroying Yankee lineup the last time out. Since the season has only been a little over a month, the Yankees should get to him this time.
Severino, on the other hand, allowed only four baserunners in five innings to the Jays in his appearance. Look for similar results.
However, the moneyline seems about right for New York, so eyeing the Yankees’ team total should be strong value with their success with southpaws.
Kikuchi and the Blue Jays Face an Uphill Battle
Kikuchi is one of the most fade-able pitchers in the league. His Average Exit Velocity is 92.1 MPH, and his Hard-Hit Percentage is nearly 50%. This does not bode well against the power-hitting Yankees lineup. They rank first in both categories at 91.8 MPH and 49%, respectively.
Kikuchi’s 15.1% Walk Rate is also concerning. He only strikes out about 21.5% of batters with a below average Chase Rate. The Yankees will strike out more than most teams, but since they hit the ball so hard, they should thrive. If Kikuchi permits free passes, they are even more likely to score.
Tim Locastro is strong against lefties, but the Yankees have everyone else healthy. Four hitters are over the .400 xwOBA mark. Aaron Judge is averaging 100.4 MPH on southpaw pitches with an xwOBA over .450. With only three active players averaging fewer than 90 MPH against lefties, the Yankees are poised for an onslaught of runs in this matchup.
Toronto also carries a subpar bullpen. They collectively rank 19th in xFIP. They do have some arms, but if the Yankees get into the middle relief, they can squeeze a few more runs across the plate.
Severino and the Yankees Have the Edge
On the other hand, Severino has the opposite peripherals. His Average Exit Velocity is 85.3 MPH with a 36.1% Hard-Hit Rate. He is also slightly above average when it comes to accuracy. His 2.87 xERA, compared to a 3.75 ERA, proves he has been unlucky, too.
The Blue Jays hitters have fallen off a bit against righties. They rank in the middle of the pack with a 102 wRC+ as a team, and their lineup is top-heavy, compared to the Yankees. Cavan Biggio and Danny Jansen are on the Injured List, but several others in the lineup have a sub-.330 xwOBA facing right-handers. This says that Severino will hold the bottom half of the lineup in check.
The Yankees also have a better bullpen than the Blue Jays, but considering how they have some weak spots, there was not much emphasis on this for the handicap. Michael King and Clay Holmes have come up huge in their roles, and Aroldis Chapman has still not given up any runs. This should be enough to get the Yankees to the finish line, if bettors consider the moneyline instead of the team total.
Blue Jays-Yankees Pick
Consequently, the Yankees team total has plenty of value and should move rapidly. As of late Monday night, it stands at 3.5 but juiced (-125). This will definitely move over 4 runs, as it has at some books already.
The Yankees crush lefties. That is the storyline here along with Kikuchi’s struggles. Because of how poor his predictive metrics stand and how hard the Yankees hit the ball, seeing him three times in a month, essentially, is a massive edge for the Yankees.
Judge and Stanton should be poised for strong games in the batter’s box. If Kikuchi loses control over the strike zone, the Yankees could hit their team total in the first five innings. Take the total up to 4.5 (-110) as there should be plenty of Yankee runs.
Pick: New York Yankees Over 3.5 Runs (-125) | Play to 4.5 (-110)