Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees (8/18/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The Blue Jays have to feel demoralized at the opportunity they could’ve had in this series against the Yankees. With the Yankees struggling mightily, Toronto has had every chance to make the AL East competitive, but they’ve matched New York by going 2-8 in their last 10 games. While the Yankees have some more leeway to get back on track, the Blue Jays are barely clinging to a wild card spot and will try to earn a statement win against Frankie Montas on Thursday.

Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Thursday’s matchup.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees Betting Odds

The Yankees are -149 home favorites despite their recent downturn, with the over/under set at 8 runs. Oddsmakers might have more faith in the Blue Jays if Alek Manoah or Kevin Gausman were on the mound, but Jose Berrios’ severe struggles prevent Toronto from opening as the favorite.

Still, +125 is a solid value considering the Yankees haven’t been hitting of late even against pitchers with weaknesses. At least one of these lineups is going to start hitting soon, and chances are it’ll be the one that’s near full health (Toronto’s).

Toronto Blue Jays Starting Lineup

CF G. Springer R
1B V. Guerrero R
LF L. Gurriel R
DH A. Kirk R
3B M. Chapman R
RF T. Hernandez R
SS Bo Bichette R
2B S. Espinal R
C D. Jansen R

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Frankie Montas

Frankie Montas recovered from an ugly first start in a Yankee uniform to throw five innings of 2-run ball against the Red Sox on Saturday. Now making his first home start at Yankee Stadium, he gets the challenge of one of baseball’s most talented offenses. Montas has a 3.59 ERA across 21 starts (112.2 IP) this season, with a 3.53 FIP, 1.19 WHIP, and 115 strikeouts. He’s limited home runs well over the past two seasons, striking out nearly 10 batters per nine since 2019. He’s also walked eight batters over his last three starts, but the Blue Jays don’t typically walk much despite their powerful bats.

Nothing is really working for the Blue Jays right now, and that includes the offense. Toronto is hitting .242 with a .681 OPS in August, on par with their April and May numbers before the offensive explosion they had in June and July.

While starting pitching has been an even bigger factor in the Jays’ struggles, this team isn’t hitting up to its potential. George Springer’s absence was felt in a big way, but his recent return could spark some life. Matt Chapman has especially come back down to earth after coming out of the all-star break scorching hot. He’s hitting just .152 in August, while Alejandro Kirk and new addition Whit Merrifield have struggled to get going.

Montas will have to be careful with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is hitting .304 with 4 home runs in August and routinely makes a mockery of the Yankees. I’d be hesitant to put too much confidence in Montas given he’s making his home debut in New York. He was shaky in his Yankees debut two weeks ago, so some nerves against this still-dangerous lineup are possible.

New York Yankees Starting Lineup

2B D.J. LeMahieu R
RF A. Judge R
1B A. Rizzo L
3B J. Donaldson R
DH G. Torres R
LF A. Benintendi L
C J. Trevino R
SS I. Kiner-Falefa R
CF A. Hicks S

New York Yankees vs. Jose Berrios

No offense has been as dead as the Yankees’ unit lately. New York entered Wednesday with 1 total run in its last three games and has a .654 OPS in August. Enter Jose Berrios. Berrios has been one of the worst starters in baseball this season, despite some buzz as a potential Cy Young sleeper heading into the year.

The former Twins ace has a 5.61 ERA over 23 starts (122 IP) with a 5.07 FIP and 1.39 WHIP. Control hasn’t been the issue like it was in other years. Instead, Berrios is allowing 10.2 H/9 and 1.9 HR/9 – both up considerably from 2021. After a great July, Berrios has fallen off the wagon again, allowing 13 earned runs in 7.2 innings so far this month.

Berrios has been hit hard all year, which is a concern in Yankee Stadium regardless of the Yankees’ offensive struggles. The short porch can be a nightmare for any home run-prone pitcher, as can MVP favorite Aaron Judge. The power just hasn’t been there from guys not named Judge lately. Anthony Rizzo is 2 for his last 23 as he tries to prove he can battle through a back issue, while Matt Carpenter and Giancarlo Stanton are both on the IL. It’s worth monitoring DJ LeMahieu’s status. One of the Yankees’ best contact hitters, LeMahieu missed a few days with a toe injury but is expected back in the lineup Thursday. Judge needs more support.

Maybe Gleyber Torres, who homered off of Berrios in May and went deep for the Yankees on Wednesday night, is someone to watch against a struggling arm.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees Picks & Prediction

My pick: Over 8 Runs (-110)

Am I crazy for taking the over on two offenses that just haven’t been clicking lately? Maybe. But, Yankee Stadium is still Yankee Stadium. These lineups still have guys who can take advantage of right field, and both starters are far from sure things based on how they’ve performed lately (or all season, in Berrios’ case). If just one of these lineups finds a little something Thursday night, the over is very much in play.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and recent graduate of Boston University. He created @allsportsnews on Instagram when he was 12 and continues to post sports news and rankings daily.

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