MLB Picks Today | Yankees vs. Blue Jays Betting Preview (Wednesday, September 28)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge and George Springer.
- The Yankees are small road favorites tonight against the Blue Jays.
- New York sends ace Gerrit Cole to the mound, while Toronto will counter with Mitch White.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||+105|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Well, it took longer than many expected, but the New York Yankees are officially AL East champions. The Yankees clinched the division with Tuesday night's victory, but with a week's worth of games left and their opponents still jockeying for position in the wild-card standings, don't expect them to let their foot off the gas.
Oh, and there's still potential history to be made.
Getting the ball for the AL East champs will be their ace, Gerrit Cole. Cole has had a rough month of September as he's given up four runs in each of his last three starts. However, he may be due to turn it around tonight.
Opposing him for Toronto will be Mitch White. Speaking of starters who are having rough months, White has been hit hard on multiple occasions over the last two months.
Can either starter turn it around and give their team a chance to win? Let's take a closer look to find out.
Yankees' Offense Clicking
The Bronx Bombers have had it going offensively of late. They come in winners in eight of their last 10. Over the previous two weeks, they lead the majors in ISO, wRC+, wOBA and BABIP. Part of those numbers have been directly produced by Aaron Judge, and a majority of it has been produced because of Judge.
Judge's home run chase has drastically impacted the Yankees and how other teams are pitching them. No pitcher wants to give up his 61st homer of the season and become infamous with him, which is shown in his numbers. Over the same two-week span, Judge is hitting .359 with a .554 OBP. Why is his OBP so high, you ask? Well, he also has a staggering 30.4 percent walk rate over the last two weeks.
Despite history being on the line, Judge's patience and discipline have drastically helped his teammates as they've done a great job of getting him around after he gets on. However, tonight they will be able to do some damage, and we may even see history.
White is a fastball-heavy pitcher who throws it more than 44 percent of the time, and if there's one thing the Yankees can do, it's hit a fastball. Let's start with Judge. He leads the majors in run value off four-seam fastballs, but he's not alone, as the Yankees have other hitters with a positive run value off fastballs.
Lastly, Judge has hit White's fastball very hard already. He's 2-for-2 with an average exit velocity of 104.7 mph. So tonight may be the night to put a little extra sprinkle on Judge to homer.
Can Blue Jays Hit Cole Again?
While the Yankees have been red-hot, the Blue Jays have not been too shabby themselves at the dish over the last two weeks. They are the fifth-best lineup over that span but are still substantially behind the Yankees, and it doesn't help that they have a tall task ahead of them tonight.
For all of Cole's struggles this season, he still comes in with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He has also not faired too well against this Toronto lineup as it has tagged him for seven earned runs in two starts this season, but that could all change tonight.
Cole is due for some sizable positive regression in general and against the Blue Jays specifically. Overall, his xERA is 3.29, which is a bit lower than his season ERA, but I'm more focused on his numbers against this Blue Jays lineup.
Throughout his career, the Blue Jays' projected lineup has a combined 180 at-bats against Cole, and they have got the better of him. As a team, they have hit .267 and have a .506 slugging percentage. However, when you factor in the quality of their contact, their numbers are much worse. Their xBA off Cole is .237, and their xSLG is .439.
This is primarily because their average exit velocity is only 89.1 mph, and their average launch angle is 8.3 degrees, which is far from optimal for homers and extra-base hits.
I'm expecting the positive regression to come to light and for Cole to get back on track before October.
Yankees-Blue Jays Pick
The Yankees should keep the bats rolling in this one, as they are the worst possible matchup for White right now. While I would love to see Judge make history tonight, the fact that teams are avoiding him will help the Yankees exponentially tonight. They should get plenty of fastballs to hit, and we know how well they can hit them.
On the other side, this is a buy-low spot on Cole. He has been roughed up this month and by Toronto specifically, but his metrics and his talent have him pointing in the right direction for this outing.
Take the Yankees to be up halfway through this one as White may only go five innings max.
Pick: Yankees F5-135