MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Yankees vs. Blue Jays Betting Preview (June 17)
Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees.
- The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays face off for the last of their three-game AL East regular-season series on Thursday night.
- Both teams will send largely untested and underwhelming pitchers to the mound, but MLB betting analyst Kevin Davis believes that New York has the offense to best take advantage.
- Below, find his full betting preview for Yankees vs. Blue Jays, including updated odds and his pick for tonight's AL East matchup.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-108|
|Over/Under||10.5 (-106 / -115)|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
Only one team reports a losing record in the highly competitive American League East: The Baltimore Orioles (22-45).
Two of the four remaining teams with winning records have faced each other this week as the New York Yankees have visited the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo. The Yankees won each of the first two games, and they look to complete the series sweep on Thursday night.
Toronto has fielded one of the best lineups in MLB while the Yankees have had one of the worst. Based on the New York’s personnel, the Yankees lineup should be one of the league’s best, but it simply has not produced to expectation.
The Yankees and Blue Jays will each rely on the back-end of their respective starting rotations for Thursday’s game. As a result, oddsmakers have determined that Thursday’s game will be a high-scoring toss-up: Tonight’s over/under is set at 10.5, and each team reports nearly identical odds to win on the moneyline, as of writing.
So, if we accept the premise that Thursday’s game should feature plenty of offense, then the question becomes: Which team is better equipped to win a high-scoring affair?
New York Yankees
Pitching for the Yankees is Michael King, who has been used as a reliever and starting pitcher this season. Little is known about King; he only has 59 2/3 career innings — 31 of which have come this season. King has an 0-3 record, a 3.77 ERA and 4.48 xFIP. With a WAR of only 0.2, the Yankees would not be much worse off with a replacement-level player in King’s stead.
King’s has a marginal overall record and has been lackluster in his three starts this season. In King’s most recent starting appearance against the Minnesota Twins, he pitched for only 3 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs. Overall, he has an 0-2 record and 6.35 ERA as a starter.
Despite King’s vulnerability as a starter, he has performed well as a reliever, and the Yankees have one of the best bullpens in MLB backing him up.
The key factor that will largely dictate the Yankees’ longterm success is their lineup. New York’s lineup averages only 3.9 runs per game, which is the second-worst mark in the American League.
However, the Yankees are only missing 1B Luke Voit and OF Aaron Hicks due to injuries. With a lineup that includes OF Aaron Judge, IF DJ LeMahieu, SS Gleyber Torres, and C Gary Sánchez, the Yankees should solve their offensive issues as the season progresses.
Toronto Blue Jays
As of late Thursday morning, the Blue Jays have yet to formally announce a starting pitcher for tonight’s game. However, multiple news sources have reported that Toronto will rely on T.J. Zeuch for the start. This season, Zeuch has spent time in Triple-A and the majors. Arguably, Zeuch is a more lackluster starting pitcher than King is for the Yankees.
In 12 big-league innings this season, Zeuch has a 0-2 record with a 6.75 ERA, 6.83 xFIP, -0.6 WAR, and a low strikeout rate of only 4.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He has not faired much better in Triple-A, either, where he reports a 4.37 ERA and 4.61 xFIP in 35 innings. Against a sleeping giant in the Yankees lineup, Zeuch should have a tough outing on Thursday night.
Backing up Zeuch is an unforgiving Blue Jays lineup. Led by AL MVP favorite 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto is averaging 4.98 runs per game, which is the sixth-highest scoring average in MLB. Given Guerrero Jr’s stat line of 22 home runs, a .343 batting average, .447 on-base percentage, and 201 wRC+, his walk-up music should be “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” by Lil Wayne and Birdman.
In addition to Guerrero Jr., the Blue Jays are getting strong seasons from OF Teoscar Hernandez, IF Marcus Semien, and IF Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays should be able to put runs on the scoreboard against King and the Yankees.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Pick
In what is expected to be an ugly display of starting pitching, I believe that the Yankees should win. T.J. Zeuch is more vulnerable than Michael King, and New York boasts a much better bullpen than Toronto’s.
The Yankees moneyline (-107) is worth betting for Thursday night’s game. My model gives New York a 55.4% chance of winning, and I would bet them up to -115 if indeed Zeuch starts.
Pick: New York Yankees Moneyline -107 (DraftKings). Play to -115.
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