The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays continue their battle for the wild-card spot in the American League on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, with the middle contest of a three-game series at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Excluding Tuesday’s clash in Canada, the Jays are 10-6 against the Yanks in 2021. Toronto is a slight +100 moneyline dog for Wednesday’s showdown, while the Yankees sit at -110 with a total of 8.5 runs on Bookmaker Sportsbook.
The Yanks hope to stay hot down the stretch
The New York Yankees entered the final week of the season holding the top wild card in the American League, one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox and a pair of games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. They were also riding a six-game winning streak, scoring 37 runs in the process and yielding just 16 in a return while sweeping Texas at home and Boston on the road.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Yankees have gone 9-3 while posting the third-lowest ERA in baseball (3.07). They’ve scored 62 runs in that span, slashing .269/.348/.494 and posting the third-best OPS in the majors.
Gerrit Cole will get the nod Wednesday, and he’s 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in four starts against the Jays this season (23 innings pitched). The 31-year-old righty took a loss in a 5-1 defeat to Toronto on September 7, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a pair of walks across just 3.2 innings of work.
Cole is 16-8 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 29 starts this term. He’s struggled over his last two outings, yielding ten earned runs through 11.2 frames, but since mid-August, Cole has registered a nice 3.00 ERA and 2.83 FIP across eight starts and 45 innings.
The Jays desperately need more from their offense
The Toronto Blue Jays own the third-highest scoring offense in the majors, averaging 5.18 runs per contest. However, over their last 12 outings, the Jays have scored just 43 runs while posting a disappointing .217/.279/.390 batting line.
Toronto recorded four losses in seven games last week. At least, the Blue Jays emerged victorious on weekend, outlasting Minnesota on the road, 6-1 and 5-2.
The Blue Jays’ pitching staff has registered a decent 3.81 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and a .227 batting average against over the past two weeks. Jose Berrios will take the hill Wednesday, and the 27-year-old righty has gone 5-4 with a 3.50 ERA and 3.51 FIP in 11 starts (64.1 frames) since joining the Blue Jays at the trade deadline.
Berrios met the Yanks on September 9 and took a win in a 6-4 victory at Yankee Stadium. He surrendered two earned runs on five hits and a couple of free passes while punching out eight across 6.2 innings of work.
- 4-8 in the last 12 games against Toronto
- 8-2 in the last ten games at home
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
This game could easily go either way and with both teams bringing the big guns to the mound, I would stick with the under on the totals. I lean the hosts mostly because of their recent dominance over the Yankees, and the Jays just have to find a way to win if they want to stay alive in the playoff chase.
Both teams are loaded offensively, but the starting pitchers are capable of shutting the opposite side down. The current Jays are slashing .230/.271/.351 in 156 at-bats against Gerrit Cole, while Jose Berrios has allowed a .231/.282/.339 triple-slash to the current Yankees.
Pick: Take Toronto Blue Jays +1.5 at -160
As I’ve mentioned above, both teams will have a tall task to hit well against Wednesday’s starters even though there are a bunch of sluggers on either side. Furthermore, the Yankees bullpen has recorded a shiny 2.90 ERA and 2.66 FIP over the last two weeks, though the Jays ‘pen has a 4.06 ERA and 5.28 FIP in that span.
The under has hit in 12 of the last 17 meetings between the Yanks and Jays. Eight of the Yankees’ last 12 games went in the under, as well as eight of the Blue Jays’ previous nine contests overall.
Pick: Go under 8.5 at -115