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August 8, 2017

There is one pick today.

Take New York Yankees (+120) on the ML against Toronto Blue Jays risking 3% to win 3.6%.
(Sabathia and Happ must start for wager to have action)

Both teams in this matchup are vying for potential playoff spots as the Yankees are currently three games out of the top spot in the AL East, but do hold one of the two Wildcards in the American League. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are likely out of the divisional race, being 10.5 games behind the division leading Boston Red Sox, however, they are still firmly in the Wild Card hunt, at least for the moment. That makes this series an extremely important one for both teams, yet in this opening game series, we believe the wrong team is favored.

C.C. Sabathia will take the mound for the Yankees tonight and he has been solid for them this year, especially on the road, where he has gone 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 starts on the season. He has also had quite a bit of success playing the Rogers Centre and will not be intimated playing here as he has gone 8-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 13 career starts in this ballpark.

While Sabathia has had a career resurgence this season, it has been somewhat of a struggle as of late for Blue Jays' pitcher, J. A. Happ. Happ has gone just 4-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 starts on the year. He has been roughed up a bit as of late having gone just 1-2 with a 5.21 ERA in his last three starts. While his counterpart has thrived in this venue, Happ has unexpectedly struggled at home, going just 1-5 with a 4.25 ERA in seven starts at home. At this point in the season, it appears both pitchers are heading in opposite directions.

Where we believe the Yankees should have the biggest advantage however is with their bullpen. The Yankees have one of the best relieving corps in the league and has proven incredibly tough to score against in the later stages of the game. Meanwhile, the Toronto bullpen has been anything but reliable as of late and have shown a propensity to give up runs when the game is on the line. They have a collective 4.83 ERA on the season and part of that is due to closer Roberto Osuna. Osuna is coming off another rough outing as he had a 6-3 lead heading into the 9th and then proceed to give up 4 earned runs on 5 hits in just 0.2 innings of work to hand his team the loss. It was his 7th blown save of the season which put his record at 3-3 with a 3.47 ERA. For a closer, those are unimpressive statistics.

Overall, we believe New York is the better team, with the better offense and the better pitching in this matchup. Even if Happ and Sabathia both have impressive outings, we believe the Yankees offense will be able to provide more production against the shaky Blue Jays' bullpen and find a way to win this matchup late. The value is on the road team in this contest.

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