Yankees vs Blue Jays – 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
The New York Yankees are in the AL playoffs regardless but still have a shot at winning the AL East. They might need to win out, though, and even that may not be enough. The Bombers visit the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Tuesday with Toronto still fighting for a playoff spot and likely to get in.
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Why Bet on NY Yankees? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
The Yanks clinched a playoff spot over the weekend and also have clinched their 28th consecutive winning record (since 1993). That’s the second-longest such stretch in Major League history behind only the franchise’s streak of 39 straight winning seasons from 1926-64. This season marks the seventh time the Yankees are playing an abbreviated season. The team has posted a winning record in six of those seven seasons.
If you had Luke Voit as a wager to lead the majors in homers this season, well, you are probably the only one. Voit slugged his major league-leading 21st home run of the season on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Yankees to victory over the Red Sox — snapping the Yankees’ 10-game winning streak. Voit has been a huge surprise, adding 49 RBIs to those 21 dingers. He’ll get some AL MVP votes. Voit continues to hobble due to an unspecified foot injury, but Manager Aaron Boone doesn’t think it’s an injury that can get worse.
The Yankees probably will use backup catcher Kyle Higashioka here over Gary Sanchez. Higashioka is hitting the ball hard, and Higashioka looks very comfortable at the plate. Not to mention the fact that Gerrit Cole loves pitching to him. Cole has looked sensational with Higashioka catching him. Sanchez has been struggling through an absolutely disastrous 2020 season.
Cole (6-3) is on the mound here. He was originally on schedule to pitch Monday, but he’ll get an extra day of rest as the Yankees set up their playoff rotation.
Cole fired seven innings of one-run ball in last Wednesday’s blowout win over the Blue Jays. After losing his previous three outings, Cole took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He didn’t allow a hit until Hanser Alberto singled to right with two outs in the top of the fifth.
Cole limited the Jays to just three hits and two walks, with the lone run scoring on a wild pitching the sixth inning. He struck out eight batters while inducing 14 swinging strikes in his 95 pitches. He’s allowed just one run through 20 innings this month, lowering his ERA to 3.00 in the process.
Why Bet on Toronto? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
Starting last week in second place in the AL East, the Jays were swept by the Yankees in their three-game series in New York, and it wasn’t pretty. The Yankees posted 43 runs over those three games, and that came after the Mets had handed the Blue Jays an 18-1 loss on August 11 as well. The Jays finally ended a six-game skid on Sunday. They are all but a lock to earn a Wild-Card spot and could do it as early as Tuesday.
The Jays could get some surprising good news this week as first baseman/DH Rowdy Tellez has been taking batting practice in the batting cage. The feeling has been that Tellez was likely done for the season with a right knee injury, but it would appear he’s making a push to return. He’s been sidelined for nearly two weeks.
It’s Tanner Roark on the mound here. Roark (2-2) was knocked around for six runs — including four homers — over four innings in a loss to the Yankees last Wednesday. Roark has now allowed 14 home runs in just 39 1/3 innings this season. He hasn’t completed five innings in three straight starts and holds a brutal 6.41 ERA through nine starts.
The Blue Jays gave Roark a two-year, $24 million contract during the offseason and that looks like a disaster. In his nine outings this season he has put up career lows in ERA, WHIP (1.754), HR/9 (3.2), H/9 (11.0) and BB/9 (4.81).
The eight-year veteran pulled no punches voicing his displeasure about being pulled to early vs. the Yankees, calling it “horse crap”. He also compared himself to a diesel engine that starts off slow and gets better as you go throughout the game. Like most pitchers, opponents’ batting average and OPS both rise against Roark from the first time through to the second and the third times.
“I’m what you would call a Diesel engine,” Roark said. “I start off slow, then get better as you go on throughout the game.Expert PredictionYankees 6, Blue Jays 1
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