MLB Odds & Picks for Blue Jays vs. Yankees: Back Both Offenses to Wake Up (Sunday, April 4)

MLB Odds & Picks for Blue Jays vs. Yankees: Back Both Offenses to Wake Up (Sunday, April 4) article feature image
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Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge

Blue Jays vs. Yankees Odds

Blue Jays Odds +142
Yankees Odds -168
Over/Under 9.5 (-105 / -115)
Time 1:05 p.m. ET
TV MLBTV
Odds as of Sunday morning and via FanDuel.

After the Blue Jays spoiled Gerrit Cole’s debut on Opening Day, the Yankees came back on Saturday and powered past their division foes in a tight affair.

Sunday will be the rubber match between the two, pitting Domingo Germán, fresh off a suspension, against T.J. Zeuch, making just his fifth career start. Will Toronto’s offense finally make a splash in this series, or will New York’s pitching continue to put it in a position to win? Let’s dig into the matchup and see if we can find the answer.

Toronto Blue Jays

Much is expected of the Blue Jays’ offense this season, but through two games they’ve yet to have their breakout performance. By no means are we at all concerned about this team being able to hit, particularly without prized offseason acquisition George Springer ready to play, it’s more of a question of when is the right time to back these bats. They’re certainly better than three runs per game, but it’s also worth noting they’re going up against one of the stronger pitching staffs in the league.

Is there reason to believe things could turn around on Sunday? Sure. Toronto was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and just 2-for-8 on Thursday, when it only managed to cash in once prior to a runner being magically inserted on second base in extras (which, to me, is still dumb). The Blue Jays have racked up eight hits in each of their first two games, and on Saturday just about everyone on the roster picked up one except Rowdy Tellez.

Sunday’s starter, Zeuch, will likely be what holds the Blue Jays back, if anything. He’s a pitch-to-contact righty who induces a lot of ground balls but lacks swing-and-miss stuff. His 4.87 expected ERA last year looks ugly next to his 1.59 real-life ERA, a signal that he’s not exactly inducing the type of contact he likes to. Against the Yankees, this could be problematic.

New York Yankees

The last time we saw Germán was on Sept. 18, 2019. After that date, he was investigated for domestic violence and subsequently given an 81-game suspension. The 28-year-old will now make his return to the hill and reignite a very confusing debate: Is he good?

It’s a complicated question, but it’s all relative. Fans of the team would argue that he’s got top-of-the-rotation skill, which his numbers wouldn’t exactly back up, and at his age we’re not really discussing any sort of untapped potential. As a back-end starter, he’s fine, and a 113 ERA+, which he posted in 2019, is certainly a pleasant surprise for a fourth or fifth arm. Simply put, he’s caught in between the front and back of the rotation, which makes the fact that he’s the third member of the staff to get the ball this season absolutely perfect.

German’s calling card is his curveball, which generated an impressive 45% whiff rate in 2019, and he backs it up with an effective fastball which ranks in the 87th percentile in spin rate, according to Baseball Savant. The issue on Sunday for German will be that the Blue Jays have some great curveball hitters in their lineup; Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Danny Jansen and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. all had positive run values against the pitch last year, with Guerrero in particular mashing the pitch.

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Blue Jays-Yankees Pick

We know it to be true that both of these offenses can mash, though they’ve yet to show it with both teams going under the total in the first two games. With that said, the Yankees should be in an incredible spot here against Zeuch, who they should mash. On the other hand, German hasn’t pitched in so long and doesn’t really match up too well against a lineup full of boppers who have proven effective against his best pitch.

For these reasons, I’m backing both offenses to finally show us what they’re made of and put some runs on the board. I think they should cover the total with relative ease.

Pick: Over 9.5 (-105)

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