Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds, Pick, Prediction: One Side Has Value in AL East Showdown (May 2)

Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds, Pick, Prediction: One Side Has Value in AL East Showdown (May 2) article feature image

Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson

  • Tonight's Yankees-Blue Jays matchup should be a close one according to the oddsmakers.
  • New York sends Jordan Montgomery to the mound, while Toronto counters with Ross Stripling.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.

Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds

Yankees Odds-120
Blue Jays Odds+100
Over/Under8.5 (+100 / -120)
Time7:07 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The New York Yankees rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Royals 6-4 and extend their winning streak to a league-best nine games. At 16-6, the Yankees have the best winning percentage (.727) in the majors.

Next up for the Yankees is a trip to Toronto to take on the up-and-coming Blue Jays. Jordan Montgomery is expected to start on the mound for New York and Toronto will counter with Ross Stripling.

While it might make sense to take a contrarian approach and look for spots to fade New York and its winning streak, I'll explore a different angle involving a play in the first five (F5) innings.

Yankees Relying On Improved Montgomery

Montgomery is in his sixth season with the Yankees, and at the age of 29 he might be finally putting it together as a starting pitcher. Despite failing to register a win on the year, he's been solid at 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in four starts.

While his advanced stats point to a slight regression given his 2.99 xERA and 3.44 FIP, a closer look at his numbers reveals an improvement in his BB/9 (2.92 to 2.25) and HR/9 ratios (1.09 to 0.45).

I'd be the first to acknowledge that he's striking out a few batters (6.75 K/9) compared to last year. However, hitters have struggled to make good contact against him, evidenced by a career-best 3.4% barrel rate.

Per FanGraphs, Montgomery uses a mixture of pitches to keep hitters off-balance: He throws a four-seamer (15.4%), a sinker (30.8%), a changeup (28.3%) and a curveball (25.5%).

What particularly stands out to me is his increased usage of his sinker (8.7%) and changeup (3.9%). That tells me that Montgomery is more of a complete pitcher as he relies less on his four-seam fastball. His sinker and changeup could be effective against a Blue Jays lineup that's a combined 3.2 runs below average when facing both pitches.

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Blue Jays Have Started Games Slowly

At 15-8, the Blue Jays are right on the heels of the Yankees as they sit just 1.5 games behind them in the standings. Interestingly, in a season where pitching has often held the upper hand, Toronto ranks in the bottom half of the league (19th) with a 3.68 ERA.

Stripling's been a bright spot for the staff as he holds a 3.60 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while still looking for his first decision. While his traditional stats remain decent, his advanced metrics suggest he's been better, given his 3.06 xERA and 2.99 FIP.

I've been impressed with how the Blue Jays continue to deploy Stripling as a hybrid pitcher who can start games or come in out of the bullpen. I only question whether he'll get enough support from the Blue Jays lineup against Montgomery in the early going. Toronto can be prone at times to slow starts, as I've noticed it tends to fancy its hacks against the opposition's bullpen.

Thus, if you're looking to isolate the Blue Jays, I would consider fading them in the first five innings.

Our BetLabs database shows that the Blue Jays are 0-3-3 as a first five underdog in their past six meetings. Moreover, Toronto's struggled against southpaws this season as they have a .221/.299/.372 line vs. a .246/.309/.410 split against right-handers.

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Yankees-Blue Jays Pick

One thing the Yankees have done this season is start fast. New York wastes little time to get ahead early as it aims to control the game before handing the ball off to its dominant relievers.

New York's bullpen leads the league with 10 wins on the year, and it ranks second with a 2.58 ERA. However, Sunday, the Yankees suffered a rare money-line loss in the first five innings.

For example, New York is 13-3-6 on the F5 moneyline this year, and it's yet to suffer back-to-back losses in this spot. Given what we know about the Yankees' starts and Toronto's struggles against left-handers, I think the Yankees are worth a moneyline look in the F5.

FanDuel had the best price on the board, although it was close to a pick'em on Monday morning. Later in the afternoon, New York is -120.

Pick: 1/2 unit on Yankees F5 ML (-102)

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