The Toronto Blue Jays got more help last night from the New York Yankees. With the Yanks’ ace on the mound they lost 5-1 to the Mets. Tanaka starts have to be wins for the Yankees or they’re in trouble. As it was, the rookie Steven Matz outpitched Tanaka to lead the Mets to victory. Matz has been hard to ignore, as he churns out another stifling performance. The Mets have to be taking a hard look at him for their postseason rotation. The Yankees need to entre damage control quickly. The Blue Jays dispatched the Red Sox 6-1 so the writing may be on the wall for the Yankees. It is looking more and more like a division crown for the Toronto Blue Jays. That’ll be a nice prize for them, but getting sidetracked over the accomplishment isn’t in the agenda for the Jays. As we see, they are a team that takes it day-by-day. Teams that focus on the daily task in front of them are usually the ones that are successful. It looks like to me that the Yankees are thinking too much, the Blue Jays are in their heads.
Now with the loss yesterday, the Yanks have Pineda against Syndergaard today. Not the most favorable situation for the Yankees. Conversely, the Blue Jays are at home feeling good with Wade Miley going up against R.A. Dickey. Another win for the Jays and loss for the Yanks is going to dig an even bigger hole. If the odds are telling the truth, the Yankees will lose today and the Jays will win. But that is why they play the games, and Dickey can be a bit of a head case on the mound. Head case in the sense of being so good then so bad in another start. We will see what Dickey has in store for us on Saturday, a day largely dominated by college football, but there is money to be made out there on the diamond, too. I look for a winner, and provide my pic below for the Red Sox and Jays.
Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Wade Miley (11-10, 4.41 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (10-11, 4.08 ERA)
For some teams hitting a knuckleballer is no problem, for others they have some troubles finding the ball. Looking at the team history against Dickey is important in this case. Dickey emulated his pitching style after Red Sox Tim Wakefield, a fellow knuckleballer. Dickey didn’t always throw knuckleballs. After he discovered he could save his career and elongate it, he then moved to the knuckleball. There isn’t as much stress on the shoulder and you can last a long time with it, as Wakefield did. The Red Sox have been able to hit Dickey throughout his career, posting a 4.29 ERA which is right around his career numbers. In any case, Dickey has looked good at home in Toronto, yielding a 3.16 ERA.
Miley on the other hand has had problems on the road. He brings a road ERA of 4.60 with him to Toronto, along with a 1.56 WHIP. The Jays have the ability to get after left-handed pitching, nailing them for a batting average of .275. I would not want to be a lefty facing them in the postseason. I wouldn’t want to be Miley either, who has found himself in all kinds of predicaments against the Blue Jays. He has a career 9.24 ERA against the Blue Jays, with a 2.61 WHIP and .404 OBA. I think the Blue Jays can smell blood, and it’s Yankee blood. The Blue Jays have won three straight and will look for a fourth today. Have to take the Jays at home today.
PICK: BLUE JAYS -1.5 (+104)