New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays Preview: Back Blue Jays to Close Gap in Pursuit of Postseason Place

Eddie Griffin

The New York Yankees enter the final week of the regular season in the driver’s seat for a wild-card berth. Now they just need to seal the deal. It all starts tonight as they open a big road series against the Toronto Blue Jays, who will be aiming to do to the Yankees what the Yankees did to the Red Sox last weekend. The Yankees and Red Sox are the MLB betting favorites to land the AL’s two wild-card spots, but the Jays have a chance to upset the applecart.

Over the weekend, the Yankees went into Boston and stunningly swept the Red Sox. As a result, they now have a one-game cushion over the Red Sox for the first wild-card spot.

The Blue Jays were on fire heading into last week, having won 18 of 22. But they ran into some trouble on the road, losing two of three against the Tampa Bay Rays and the first two of their four-game set against the Minnesota Twins. But by winning the last two against the Twins, they still control their destiny for a second straight postseason berth.

The Yankees thrived in the big moments in the Fenway atmosphere, and they will have to do the same at Rogers Centre, which is sure to be raucous with the season’s biggest crowds in attendance.

Will the Blue Jays feed off of the fuller crowd, or will the Yankees break hearts in Toronto as they did in Boston?

New York Yankees (89-67) vs Toronto Blue Jays (87-69), Sportsnet, 7:07 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers

  • New York Yankees: Jameson Taillon (8-6, 4.41 ERA)
  • Toronto Blue Jays: Hyun Jin Ryu (13-9, 4.34 ERA)

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays MLB Betting Odds

Moneyline

  • New York Yankees +110
  • Toronto Blue Jays -130

Total

  • OVER 9 (-115)
  • UNDER 9 (-105)

Run Line

  • New York Yankees +1.5 (-172)
  • Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+142)

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. ET. Want to see MLB betting odds from several top online sportsbooks for each MLB matchup every day? Check out our MLB odds.

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays MLB Betting Consensus

Moneyline

  • 60% New York Yankees
  • 40% Toronto Blue Jays

Total (at O/U 9)

  • 40% OVER 9
  • 60% UNDER 9

Run Line (at +/-1.5)

  • 100% New York Yankees +1.5
  • 0% Toronto Blue Jays -1.5

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays Matchup: MLB Betting Picks, Odds, Stats and More

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays Betting Outlook

After getting touched for 11 runs apiece in back-to-back home games against the Cleveland (soon-to-not-be) Indians, the Yankees were in must-win territory last week. And win they did, sweeping the Texas Rangers at home and then repeating the feat at Fenway.

Consistency has been an issue this season for the Bronx Bombers, but they lived up their moniker when it mattered. In their six wins last week, the Yankees had pounded out 12 doubles and nine homers and scored 37 runs. Of their 54 hits last week, 38.9 percent were for extra bases. That is an uptick from their number for the season (413 extra-base hits out of 1,225 hits, which is 35.2 percent).

Productive and timely offense was backed up by a timely stretch of great pitching as well. After giving up 22 runs in their final two games against Cleveland, they allowed only 16 runs in their six games against the Rangers and Red Sox.

Aaron Boone will be counting on Taillon to keep things rolling in tonight’s opener. Taillon makes his return in this matchup from an IL stint caused by a partially torn tendon in his ankle. His last start was also against the Blue Jays, and he pitched decently enough in a loss on September 6, allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings. That was much better than his other 2021 start against Toronto. On April 13, he allowed five runs and eight hits in 3.2 innings in a 7-3 loss in Dunedin.

Blue Jays Bid to Boost Postseason Possibilities Behind Ryu

All things considered, Taillon hasn’t been terrible for someone who hadn’t pitched since May 2019. But when you are pitching for the Yankees, expectations are high. And this has been a bumpy season for Taillon, save for a stellar July.

It has also been a bumpy ride for Ryu. Ryu went 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA in his first season with the Blue Jays, but his numbers have dipped in 2021. As it stands, he will have the worst ERA that he has had in a full season, and his WHIP and K/BB ratio are the worst they have been since a career-worst 2017 season with the Dodgers.

Ryu was the opposing pitcher in Taillon’s last start, and he was excellent, allowing only three hits in six shutout innings. But in the two starts since, he surrendered 12 runs and 13 hits in only five total innings against the Orioles and Twins. That has taken his ERA from 3.77 to where it is now.

Where his other rotation mates have benefitted from the Blue Jays returning to Rogers Centre, Ryu is the outlier. In six starts there, he is 2-3 with a 7.45 ERA and has allowed 37 hits and 24 runs (all earned) in 29 innings. If ever there is a time for an reemergence of his best, it’s tonight.

If there is something to be encouraged about, it is that Ryu rarely ever has more than two bad starts in a row. This most recent wobble is the fourth time this season in which he has surrendered at least ten runs across two starts. The wobble has ended after two starts each time, as he is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in the starts that following the two-start wobble. In other words, tonight should be a wobble-free zone.

MLB Betting Trends to Consider for New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays

  • The Yankees are 13-9 as a road underdog this season and 14-6 this season playing with one day of rest.
  • They are also 16-11 as an underdog this season.
  • The Blue Jays are 37-26 as a home favorite this season and 61-44 as a favorite overall this season.
  • Toronto is 14-13 this season with one day of rest.

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays Best Bet

Toronto Blue Jays ML

There’s a lot to like about the Yankees’ timely uptick in form, but this is a pretty tough matchup for Taillon to make his return, when you consider the opposition, the venue, and the stakes.

Ryu has not had a great season, but he also hasn’t had three bad starts in a row yet. He also has his fair share of experience in big games, which is something that Taillon can’t quite compare with.

Also, for the neutrals out there, the AL wild-card race will be infinitely more interesting if the Blue Jays and Mariners remain in the mix with the Red Sox and Yankees until the weekend. The Blue Jays winning benefits that scenario.

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