MLB

Blue Jays Host Yankees as Both Teams Chase Wild Card

There will be huge ramifications for the American League Wild Card race on Wednesday night when the Toronto Blue Jays host the New York Yankees in the second game of a three-game series.

The Yankees currently hold the top Wild Card spot, while the Blue Jays are one of three teams within one game of each other for the second spot. The Yanks also took the first game of the series 7-2 on Tuesday night and can take another big step toward the MLB postseason on Wednesday.

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Betting Odds & Betting Lines

According to BetUS, the betting odds are even for Wednesday’s game, with both teams having an over/under of -110. BetOnline has slightly different odds with the Blue Jays at +100 and the Yankees at -110.

As for those interested in totals betting, both sites list the over/under for the game at eight runs.

Everything is Wild

Monday’s game gave the Yankees 90 wins on the season. More importantly, it was their seventh win in a row and gave them a two-game cushion for the top Wild Card spot ahead of the Red Sox, who still occupy the second Wild Card spot.

If the Yankees can maintain that cushion over the next five games, they will host next week’s Wild Card Game.

As for the Blue Jays, they’ve now lost four of their last six games, keeping them on the outside of the playoff picture. With the Red Sox losing on Tuesday, Toronto is still one game behind Boston for the second Wild Card spot.

However, the Mariners are between them, just half a game behind the Red Sox. That gives the Blue Jays little margin for error over the final five games of the season.

That’s Why He’s Here

Jose Berrios will get the start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday, as Toronto acquired him at the trade deadline for games just like this. Since joining the Blue Jays, Berrios is 5-4 with a 3.50 ERA over 11 starts. He’s been steady down the stretch and did pick up a win over the Yankees earlier this month, giving up two runs over 6.2 innings.

Alas, the Yankees have started to hit down the stretch and are showing no signs of slowing down. They are averaging 6.2 runs per game over their seven-game winning streak and have failed to score at least five runs just once during that stretch.

It’s been Giancarlo Stanton leading the way with four home runs and 13 RBIs in his last five games, although the rest of the lineup is chipping in as well.

Ace on the Hill

The bad news for the Blue Jays is that the Yankees will send Gerrit Cole to the mound on Wednesday. Cole is 16-8 with a 3.08 ERA over his 29 starts this season. He’s also 7-2 since returning from COVID despite a modest 4.61 ERA over his five starts in September, including a loss against the Blue Jays earlier this month.

However, the Blue Jays need to get their act together offensively, regardless of who’s on the mound. Over their last eight games, the Jays are averaging just 3.1 runs per game. Vladimir Guerrero and George Springer have gone cold, and there’s nobody else in the lineup who’s helping to pick up the slack.

Let it Roll

The Blue Jays are surely the more desperate team in this matchup, although it’s the Yankees who have all of the momentum. The Toronto lineup has gone too cold to think that they can get it going against Cole and the New York bullpen.

With the betting odds more or less even, the smart money is on the Yankees to win on Wednesday and extend their winning streak to eight games.

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