MLB Odds, Pick, Prediction: Yankees vs. Blue Jays Betting Preview (Tuesday, September 28)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Hyun-Jin Ryu
- The Blue Jays are slight favorites in the opener of a key AL wild-card showdown against the Yankees tonight.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the mound for Toronto against New York's Jameson Taillon.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-125|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After sweeping the Boston Red Sox on the road and having taken sole ownership of the first wild-card slot, the New York Yankees head to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays.
The Jays are only one game out of the second wild card in the American League, so this places them two behind the Yankees. However, they could propel themselves into playoff position with a strong series here.
Jameson Taillon takes the bump for the Bronx Bombers, while Hyun-jin Ryu goes for Toronto.
Let’s dive into who has an edge in this one.
Yanks Struggling vs. Lefties
The Yankees looked great all weekend. Jameson Taillon in the months of August and September, though, has not.
He did throw a nice game the last time out against the Blue Jays, but aside from that, allowing 22 earned runs in 31 innings of work is nothing to praise.
Taillon primarily features a four-seam fastball at 94 MPH on average. Since August 1, the Blue Jays hold a .394 xwOBA on this pitch from right-handers. Unfortunately for Taillon, this accounts for nearly 49% of his pitchers.
He does throw his slider and curve on most other pitchers, so in order to get the Jays out, this is what he’ll have to resort to. Otherwise, the matchup is not favorable.
Now, the Yankee hitters have also struggled against lefties in the month of September. Their team wRC+ is 95, ranking 18th in baseball in that timespan.
With lefties on the hill for their opponents, the lineup has been a bit top-heavy. Four batters have above a .340 OBP.
Anthony Rizzo has been strong against southpaws as of late, but in 56 plate appearances since August 1, he’s only slugging .308 versus left-handers. Gary Sánchez, Rougned Odor, Aaron Judge, D.J. LeMahieu, Luke Voit, and Joey Gallo are all below the 100 wRC+ mark in September when a southpaw is on the mound.
Ryu should have a strong outing, much like he did the last time against the Yankees (six innings pitched with three hits).
The Yankee bullpen is seventh in baseball in fWAR in September. Although they have a 4.18 ERA as a unit, their xFIP is 3.93, so expect some positive regression forthcoming.
Joely Rodríguez and Clay Holmes have been great lately. That said, the team does rank in the middle of the pack in WPA this month, so they’re not producing the results they should be. Even with plenty of solid options, this explains why the ERA is higher than their xFIP in relief.
Good Matchup For Ryu, Jays?
Ryu has had an awful September. He has a 10.45 ERA this month with a 1.74 WHIP. It seems his struggles from August have overflown into this month, but his best appearance in that timeframe was against the Yankees.
Ryu will always keep the ball in the zone. His 5.3% walk rate is phenomenal, so most of these August and September baserunners are hitting their way on base.
Still, the Yankees only have a .306 xwOBA against lefty cutters. This is Ryu’s second-most featured pitch. Since the Yankees seem to like fastballs in general, this should be the game plan for Ryu as a default pitch.
The Toronto lineup loves hitting against righties this month. Their 143 wRC+ as a team ranks second in all of baseball. This is the major difference in this game.
They have seven hitters above the .370 OBP mark this month, as well. Pair that with five players slugging over .500, not even including Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and this is a concoction for an all-out firestorm for the Blue Jays’ offense early on in this game.
It’s very likely they can force an early exit for Taillon.
The Toronto bullpen has had the opposite issue as the Yankee bullpen this month. They rank eighth in WPA but 18th in fWAR.
Losing Joakim Soria to the injured list hurts, but Adam Cimber, Tim Mayza, and Trevor Richards all have a sub-1.00 ERA this month. Jordan Romero stands at 2.38, but the rest of the bullpen has struggled lately.
As long as Ryu can compete for about five or six innings after an off-day for Toronto on Monday, most arms should be available in this crucial series for playoff hopes.
Yankees-Blue Jays Pick
Yes, the Yankees are coming off of a great series against Boston, but that streak should end here. Ryu matches up well with the Yankees, despite his recent mishaps.
The same cannot be said about Taillon. Accompanied with that variable, the Toronto offense should continue its torrid hitting off of right-handers.
The bullpens don’t have enough of a difference for there to be a major edge for New York.
Take the Blue Jays on the moneyline at -125 and play to -145. The line should continue to move in Toronto’s direction.
Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -125, play to -145