The season is over for the Yankees, but the Blue Jays have a chance to further solidify their status as a postseason team on Tuesday night. Despite projected AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole making his last start of the season, Toronto is slightly favored at -116 on the moneyline.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s matchup and break down why it’s tough to bet against Cole even with the Yankees’ struggles.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Prediction
The Yankees are 22-10 in Cole starts this season. They’ve won each of his last six outings, and it helps that Cole has a terrific 1.59 ERA in that span. New York has scored at least four runs in each of those six starts. As ugly as the offense has been, there’s something to be said for having some motivation when a future Cy Young winner is on the mound.
As the Blue Jays’ lineup continues to struggle from a power standpoint, Cole should be in line to cruise again. The biggest question is whether the Yankees can get to Berrios and back up their ace with run support, but their recent track record indicates they have enough in the tank to give Cole some support.
With a bullpen that has continued to look steady of late, the chances of the Blue Jays overcoming Yankees pitching on Wednesday aren’t in line with the odds. Yankees moneyline has all of the value here.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Prediction: Yankees Moneyline (-102)
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Odds
The Blue Jays are slight home favorites at -116 on the moneyline. The over/under is just 7.5 runs.
If there was any doubt Cole would win his first Cy Young award, he’s erased it with a dominant September. The Yankees have won each of his last six starts. Can the Yankees’ offense actually sustain that kind of run support? Oddsmakers have their doubts.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Yankees vs. Blue Jays.
Blue Jays’ Power Bats vs. Gerrit Cole
Cole hasn’t been totally untouchable during his recent hot streak, though he was pretty close to untouchable against the Blue Jays last week. He actually ran into trouble against both the Tigers and Pirates but escaped mostly unscathed. The difference? Cole hasn’t allowed a home run in September, after surrendering seven homers in six August starts.
Formerly a home run-prone ace, Cole has managed to keep the ball in the ballpark as the season has winded down. The Blue Jays will likely need to change that if they want to get to him on Wednesday.
After putting tremendous lineups on the field these last two years, Toronto is a middle of the pack power-hitting team and bottom-10 at home. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has seen an uptick in power of late, which is a positive sign. At this point, though, the Blue Jays’ lineup isn’t as intimidating as it once was.
Aaron Judge vs. Jose Berrios
Don’t overthink this: Aaron Judge is the only intimidating piece of the Yankees’ lineup right now, with Gleyber Torres cooled off and the younger call-ups struggling offensively. Judge showed just how he can win a game on his own last week, hitting three home runs against the Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays fans will remember he hit home run No. 61 in Toronto around this time last season.
Jose Berrios will have to be ultra careful with the reigning MVP. It’s been a resurgent year for Berrios, but his home run rate is still a tad high at 1.2 HR/9. He’s given up 24 home runs across 29 starts, including one to Jake Bauers when he faced the Yankees last week. With plenty on the line for the Blue Jays, Berrios’ best bet might be to pitch around Judge and make the rest of New York’s lineup beat him.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays Starting Lineups
Yankees Starting Lineup
1B DJ LeMahieu R
RF Aaron Judge R
2B Gleyber Torres R
C Austin Wells L
DH Giancarlo Stanton R
SS Anthony Volpe R
LF Oswaldo Cabrera S
3B Oswald Peraza R
CF Estevan Florial L
Blue Jays Starting Lineup
RF George Springer R
SS Bo Bichette R
1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. R
2B Cavan Biggio L
3B Matt Chapman R
DH Brandon Belt L
LF Daulton Varsho L
C Alejandro Kirk R
CF Kevin Kiermaier L