Monday Baseball and I will have a Free Pick in the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees, which will be played at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York. First pitch is scheduled for a 1:05 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on ESPN.
New York -146
Over/ Under: 8 U -117
Analysis: Last year the Toronto Blue Jays were expected to be the toast of the AL East and possibly be a serious contender for the AL Pennant, but early injuries and a slow start to their season did help with that plan. Overall the Blue Jays finished 83-79, which was good enough for just 3rd in the AL East. This year the Jays made more solid acquisitions, including C Russell Martin, 3B Josh Donaldson and Outfielder John Saunders, to go along with Reyes, Bautista and Encarnacion. This will be a lineup that puts up runs. The Pitching staff suffered a major setback when the lost potential Ace Marcus Stroman for the year. Getting the ball for the Jays today will be Drew Hutchison, who was 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 32 starts last year. Drew is 3-4 with a 4.58 ERA in 7 career starts vs the Yanks
The Yankees last year had many distractions with most of them being centered around A-rod, but still they had a solid year, going 84-78 and finishing 2nd in the AL East. Now A-Rod is back after missing all of last year, but the yanks will be without Derek Jeter for the first time since 1995 after the SS retired at the end of last year. Didi Gregorius has some big shoes to fill at SS for sure. The Yanks were won of the worst offensive teams in the AL last year, but are much healthier this year and that should improve, l while the Staff is solid and the prn is very good, especially the backend. Getting the ball today will be Masahiro Tanaka, who missed much of the end of the year with an elbow injury. Tanaka was 6-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 10 starts at Yankee Stadium last year and he was 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA 3 starts overall vs the Jays. New York owns a 42-14 record all-time in the matchups at the new Yankee Stadium, including a 29-5 run since May 24, 2011.
Pick: I will go with the Yankees in this one. Simply put they have the better starter on the mound and they have dominated the Jays in this park, winning 29 of the last 34 meetings here. Tanaka is back after missing some of last year and I know that you don't know what to expect from him but he was 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the spring and he did go 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA last year vs the Jays. Drew Hutchison did not have a good year vs the Yanks last year, going 2-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 6 starts vs them and that was vs a Yanks lineup that isn't as strong as this years. The Yanks take another home win vs the Blue Jays in this one.
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