Toronto Blue Jays (+103) at New York Yankees (-113, 9 o/u)
The two best offenses in baseball, by a wide margin, will open up a three-game series that will help decide the race for the AL East crown, when the Toronto Blue Jays (58-52, 22-31 Away) and the New York Yankees (61-46, 32-18 Home) meet at Yankee Stadium tonight (7:05 PM Eastern).
The Yankees are second in the MLB with 528 runs scored, 35 clear of third-place Houston, but still a whopping 59 runs off the pace of this first-place Blue Jays team.
The Yanks looked to be on the war path headed into this matchup, scoring 90 runs over a stretch of ten games, but could be cooling off after mustering only three runs in the last two against the Red Sox. That included getting only four hits and striking out nine times against soft-throwing knuckleballer Steven Wright. If the knuckleball is a problem, then New York can’t be happy that the Jays are sending R.A. Dickey (6-10, 4.06 ERA) to the mound tonight.
In the past month, Dickey has really turned his season around, doubling his win total over his last three starts by throwing a combined 23.1 innings, while fanning 16 and surrendering just two earned runs.
The Jays, as a team, have been sensational since bringing in Troy Tulowitzki at the trade deadline; in fact they’re 8-0 so far in games that he has started. The heart of the order has been deadly, too, with Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion combining for 15 RBIs over the past two games (both nine-run efforts against the Twins).
All this adds up to a tough outing for Nathan Eovaldi (11-2, 4.30 ERA), who, despite a stellar record, has been pretty sub-par this year. A beneficiary of the Yankees’ powerful bats, Eovaldi has won four of his last six starts despite working six or more innings just once. If he starts to slow down around the fifth inning again, the Jays will pounce all over the right hander.
The Yankees will try to keep pace with Toronto’s offense so they can turn over a close game to their light-outs pair of relievers Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. But the way this Blue Jay offense has run up huge leads long before the eighth inning, it seems like New York’s prized relievers won’t be working tonight.
Toronto is on fire, and when a team is this hot, you just can’t bet against them, especially when they’re the ‘dog in the moneyline.
Pick: Blue Jays (+103)
(Photo Credit: By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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