Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Cole, New York to Get Past Underdog Toronto (Wednesday, June 16)

Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Cole, New York to Get Past Underdog Toronto (Wednesday, June 16) article feature image
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Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds

Yankees Odds -162
Blue Jays Odds +136
Over/Under 8.5
Time 7:07 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Wednesday morning via FanDuel.

The New York Yankees took the first game of this three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, earning a 6-5 road win.

Catcher Gary Sanchez led the way for the Yankees, going 2 for 5 with a double and home run in the victory. Brett Gardner added a solo home run in the seventh inning, while Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and Chris Gittens also drove in runs.

On the other side, the Blue Jays were paced by Bo Bichette, who had three hits — including a solo home run — and drove in three of Toronto’s five runs.

With ace Gerrit Cole on the mound Wednesday, the Yankees have to like their chances of taking two in a row against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, N.Y. Is there any value on the current money line or should we be looking elsewhere in this American League East showdown?

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Dominant Cole Heading to Mound for Yankees

There’s no other way to describe Cole’s 2021 season other than dominant. Through 13 starts, Cole has pitched to a 2.10 FIP, retired batters at a 12.15 K/9 clip, and allowed just 0.88 HR/9 in the category.

Despite concerns that his performance would suffer amid the regained focus around “sticky stuff” and doctored baseballs, Cole put up yet another strong performance in his last outing, allowing just two runs and striking out nine batters over six innings against the Minnesota Twins.

Now, he’ll take on a Blue Jays team that has been one of the best in baseball against right-handed pitching this year, collectively hitting to a .337 wOBA (third best in baseball).

That said, Cole is clearly not your league average right-handed pitcher. Not only does he typically dominate opposing batters, he gives the Yankees length. He’s yet to pitch less than five innings in any start, going at least six innings in 10 of his 13 starts.

While manager Aaron Boone will expect Cole to give him some distance, it will be especially important tonight given the Yankees’ recent bullpen troubles.

While its season numbers are still strong (3.72 FIP thus far), the group has struggled of late, surrendering 12 earned runs over their past five games. However, the bullpen did pitch 3 2/3 shutout innings against this Toronto lineup in the series opener, which bodes well for their confidence the rest of the series.

Stripling Hoping to Turn Things Around for Blue Jays

Ross Stripling, who has struggled in his first full season in Toronto, will take the hill for the home team in what will amount to his 10th start of the season.

Over 47 2/3 innings, he’s compiled a 4.56 FIP and been a constant victim of the long ball, allowing opposing batters to go yard at a 1.70 HR/9 clip. His advanced metrics are also troubling. Thus far, he’s allowed a 43.6% Hard Hit rate (per Statcast) and 11.4% Barrel percentage.

In this matchup, he’ll take on a Yankees team that has been around league average against righties so far with a .309 wOBA thus far, good for just 14th-best in baseball. However, they have turned things around a bit on offense. Over their past five games, the Yankees’ offense is averaging 5.4 runs per game, a number much closer to the preseason expectations many had for this group.

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Yankees-Blue Jays Pick

While I don’t typically prefer betting a moneyline this high, there does appear to be some value on the Yankees at the current odds.

With Gerrit Cole on the mound and an offense that has finally come to life over their past five games, the Yankees have the advantage on both sides of the ball in this one. The bullpen also showed its recent woes might finally be behind it.

With a surging Cole on the hill, this game feels like it should be much closer to -200 than it current sits. Yes, Toronto technically has home field advantage, but they’re playing this game in Buffalo in front of what will likely be more Yankees fans than Blue Jays faithful.

I’m taking the Yankees in this one before the line moves. I’m comfortable playing it up to -180 odds as a standalone bet and would also consider it as a part of a strong parlay piece.

Pick: Yankees ML (-162)

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