Game: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Time: 7:07 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Jameson Taillon vs. Hyun Jin Ryu
Odds: Yankees +118, Blue Jays -120
It’s only fitting that two teams fighting for a wild card spot meet near the end of the season. Four teams in the AL East are still alive in the final week of the regular season. The Yankees and Blue Jays will begin a three-game series tonight and the results will have serious playoff implications.
Currently, the Yankees are in second place in the division and own the No. 1 wild card spot in the American League. New York is a game ahead of Boston which owns the second wild card. The Red Sox (88-68) are one game ahead of Toronto (87-69). That makes each game of this series that much more important.
The Yankees have won six straight including a three-game weekend sweep of the Red Sox. Toronto hasn’t really helped its cause with just five wins in its last ten games. They did salvage a split with Minnesota over the weekend winning the final two games of that four-game series.
Toronto is actually favored tonight. Playing at home is part of it, but it’s the pitchers that may have more to do with the Blue Jays role as the favorite. Jameson Taillon gets the start for the Yankees. He is essentially a league-average pitcher though he has performed better since the All-Star break.
Taillon has started 27 games this season. He holds a record of 8-6 and has an ERA of 4.41. Since the All-Star break, Taillon’s ERA is slightly better at 3.70. The problem Taillon has is that he only strikes out roughly 22 percent of the batters he faces. Toronto has taken advantage of that in two games against Taillon already this season.
In Taillon’s first start against Toronto, the Blue Jays rocked him for eight hits and five runs in just 3.2 innings. In his second start, Taillon pitched a little better though he did give up Vladimir Guerrero’s 40th home run. In seven innings, Taillon allowed three runs and Toronto won 8-0.
Ironically, it was Hyun Jin Ryu that got the win in that game. Ryu will start again tonight for the Blue Jays. He is 13-9 this season with a 4.34 ERA. Ryu has been a disappointment for Toronto this season. From 2018 to 2020, he was one of MLB’s elite pitchers with a 2.30 ERA.
Ryu’s last win was that 8-0 victory over the Yankees. He pitched six solid innings striking out six and holding the Yankees scoreless. Both Ryu and Taillon will eventually give way to bullpens that will be rested after having had Monday off.
Despite all the power in both lineups, both the Yankees and Blue Jays have been trending toward the Under. The total has gone Under in eight of New York’s last 12 games. The Under has hit in six straight Blue Jays games. In the last 17 games played between the Yankees and Blue Jays, the Under is 12-5.