July 25th 2014 - Posted at 3:00 PM ET
Saturday's picks will be posted at 3:00 PM ET.
Take New York Yankees (-137) on the Money Line against Toronto Blue Jays risking 2%
(Kuroda and Buehrle must start)
This is a matchup of division rivals as Toronto Blue Jays travel to the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees in the opener of a 3-game series.
Both teams come into tonight's contest playing extremely well. The Yankees have won 6 of their 7 games since coming back from the All-Star break and have been doing just enough with their bats. It has really been their starting pitching and bullpen however that has been the difference. recently. Yankees rotation have given up more than 2 runs just twice in their last 7 games!
The Blue Jays were red hot in the first half of the season but have cooled off considerably over the last few weeks. They are still a good team, but injuries have piled up and that could spell trouble in the latter stages of the season. The official lineups have not yet been posted but it is safe to assume that Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie will be out of tonight's contest and that hampers the power in their lineup. The AL East is one of the more competitive divisions in the league and is there for anyone's taking. New York, Toronto and Baltimore are all battling it out at the moment and this series could go a long way in determining who comes out on top or gets a Wild Card spot.
The problem for the Blue Jays in this game is that if there was one team that has had their number; it would have to be the Yankees; especially in NY! The Yankees are 31-15 against the Blue Jays over the last 3 seasons, but when the series shifts to the Bronx, they are an even more impressive 20-2 over that same span! Not only has Toronto as a team struggled against the Yankees, but there is not another pitcher in the league that has been as dominated by one team than Toronto's starting pitcher, Mark Buehrle. In 18 career starts, Buehrle has gone an abysmal 1-11 against them! His career ERA against them has been nearly as terrible as his overall record since the Yankees have been able to score off of him early and often. After such a stellar start to the season, Buehrle has not recorded a win since June 1st and is 0-5 with a 4.24 ERA in his last eight starts!
The Yankees will hand the ball to Hiroki Kuroda tonight. After some early season struggles, the Japanese veteran has turned things around and has logged some quality starts recently. Kuroda has put in quality innings of work in 7 of his last 10 starts and seems to pitch much better at home than on the road. In his last start in the Bronx, Kuroda went nearly 7 strong innings, giving up just 3 hits and no earned runs against the Cincinnati Reds. He has also had some success against the Blue Jays in his career as he is 5-3 lifetime with a 3.38 ERA in 9 career starts. When he has taken the mound, his team is 6-3 against Toronto.
The Yankees have shown their dominance against the Blue Jays in the past and there are reasons for that. They know this team incredibly well. They are making a strong push towards the offseason and have a number of weapons at their disposal. Brian McCann is a stellar catcher and has been known to pick runner off when attempting to steal bases. The Yankees allow less than 60% of runners to steal base which currently ranks #1 in the American League this season! Meanwhile the Yankees are one of the best at stealing bases themselves, especially with Jacoby Ellsbury leading the team. There is no doubt that both teams will be motivated to win this contest but it's difficult to argue with the numbers in this one. The Yankees have found ways to stay hot and win games and should continue their dominance in what is a very important game.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Buehrle has a career ERA of 5.81 and a WHIP of 1.528 against the Yankees!
- Blue Jays are 3-13 in their last 16 road games!
- Blue Jays were swept in Bronx last month and have lost 16 consecutive games when visiting the Yankees!
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