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N.Y. Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays Gambling Preview & Free MLB Picks

MLB Lines – Yankees vs Blue Jays

The Blue Jays somehow have a complete inability to win in the Bronx (they have lost 15 consecutive ballgames at the Yankees’ home park) but this next series is being played in Toronto, which changes the narrative considerably.

Date/Time: Monday, June 23 2014, 7:07 pm EST
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
New York +1.5, Toronto -1.5 
Over/Under: 9
Pitching Match-up: Chase Whitley (3-0, 2.56 ERA) vs. Marcus Stroman (3-2, 5.14 ERA)

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Unfortunately, there are other things that are beyond the normal sequence of events transpiring that change the narrative as well. You never wish injuries on anyone, and two lineup cornerstones in RF Jose Bautista and 3B/2B Brett Lawrie had to leave yesterday’s game against Cincinnati with ailments; Bautista with an injured leg and Lawrie with a broken finger.

This changes the potency of Toronto’s (42-35) lineup, as “Joey Bats” was having an MVP-caliber season and Lawrie was also having his best campaign at the plate thus far in his short career.

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However, don’t be surprised if the Jays congeal around this adversity and use it to dispatch the Yanks (39-35) on Monday night.

The Jays are surely tired of hearing from the hounding Toronto media about its 15 straight losses in New York; after such a frustrating series at Yankee Stadium last week, the Jays will be focusing their efforts on evening the score at home.


The Blue Jays have been treating the Rogers Centre like a home-run amusement park in 2014; even minus two big boppers they are still capable of hanging some numbers on the scoreboard.

Particularly if feast-or-famine 3B Juan Francisco can squeeze more steady production out of his prodigious power (although watching him try to hit a breaking ball is like watching a bison tap-dance) the Jays still have pop in the lineup.

A lot will depend on how the pitching can hold up. Monday’s starter Marcus Stroman has been up and down in his rookie season, but he’s shown flashes of intriguing talent. The Yankees counter with Chase Whitley, who’s also been excellent although there is a very small sample size there.

The Jays have ridden peaks and valleys the past few days (the injuries; an eight-run comeback against the Reds a couple days ago) but can wrest control of the AL East division once again with a strong series against their divisional rivals.

These are the types of series as spring turns to summer that have a big swing in the standings – even before the All-Star Break.

New York bats such as catcher Brian McCann and 1B Mark Teixeira have been hot lately; OF Brett Gardner also morphs into a one-man wrecking crew when he plays the Blue Jays. If Stroman can stymie those usual suspects, the Jays stand a good chance of getting back on track even with the ailments.

These two most recent injuries are simply further examples of luck vacating southern Ontario and a valuable lesson that a Major League Baseball season is a marathon, not a race.

When media and pundits talk about Toronto’s chemistry, that means being able to ride out turbulent times like these. How the Jays fare at home in this series will speak volumes to their candidacy at the top of the AL East this season.

Toronto 4, New York 3
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