Another 2-1 day in Major League Baseball picks, as the Rangers capitalized on Justin Verlander’s worst inning as a major leaguer, tallying seven runs in the third inning and chasing the star pitcher to an early shower. Stephen Strasburg and the Nats were able to avoid some of his first-inning woes and got the win (a loser for us on the big underdog Padres) but the run total eased over the seven run threshold to salvage the night and finish on the positive side of the ledger.
Tonight we will try to kick off some great weekend series with some a nice win. So let’s dig inside Jays v Yankees for tonight’s free pick.
Toronto Blue Jays +130 at New York Yankees -138
Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.19 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (5-2, 2.31 ERA)
The Blue Jays were expected to win the AL East and compete for a World Series while the Yankees were expected to be decimated with injuries and be furiously struggling just to keep their heads above water.
Instead? The situation is exactly flip-flopped. The Jays got off to a dreadful April, and despite their current four-game winning streak (7-3 in their last 10), they remain in dead-last, a full eight games behind the division-leading Yankees. Despite the absence of Jeter, Texieria, A-Rod as well as several other key offseason departures, the Yanks are playing great baseball – and are even getting a throwback Hall of Fame performance from 43-year old closer Mariano Rivera who is now a perfect 16 for 16 in save opportunities.
The Yankees are already 6-1 against the Jays this season, and have a substantial starting pitching advantage tonight. Kuroda has been good against Toronto this season, allowing four runs in 13-plus innings and earning wins in both starts. Meanwhile, Buehrle has been a train wreck for the Jays, with an ERA over six and a WHIP of nearly one and a half. He is coming off his best outing of the season, but I am not ready to wager on him quite yet until I see a little more consistency.
The Jays offense has been scorching hot, scoring double-digit runs in each of their last three ballgames. But the old adage, momentum is only as important as the next day’s starting pitcher, holds true tonight. I think the chance of scenery to the Bronx and the change of pitchers to Kuroda who knows well how to navigate the tough Toronto lineup, will be the difference. I like the Yankees to win at home tonight behind Kuroda giving a solid outing and then working the ball to Mo Rivera for #17.
Free Pick: New York Yankees to WIN -138