Pro Baseball Picks: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Handicapping Preview

The New York Yankees look to bounce back from a disheartening loss in Game 2 of their series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees

New York Yankees SP A.J. Burnett dropped his first April start with the club last time out

Toronto came away with a 5-3 victory in the first game of its three-game set against New York and was led by the offensive exploits of outfielder Jose Bautista.  He continues to lead the AL in home runs (nine), runs (25) and batting average (.372).  The Blue Jays have won nine of their last 15 contests versus the Yankees dating back to last season, while dropping six of their last 11 at Yankee Stadium.  Many managers in the American League have noticed a more aggressive club when facing Toronto during the early part of the 2011 campaign, including the skipper in New York’s dugout.  “They’re a much more aggressive club,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi commented.  “Yes, they are a team that if you make a mistake they’re going to hurt you in the strike zone, but they’re much more aggressive.”  Toronto is 9-10 versus right-handed starters this year.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Kyle Drabek is 2-0 with a 3.30 ERA in five starts this season, with the team capturing victories in all of them.  The right-hander has recorded a 1-0 record and 3.06 ERA in three road games, issuing 10 walks and fanning 12 in 17.2 innings of work.  He will be making his third career appearance versus the Yankees, coming in with a 0-1 mark and 5.56 ERA.

New York is now 2-3 on its current seven-game homestand, after splitting a four-game series versus the Chicago White Sox and dropping last night’s contest.  The Yankees had their opportunities to turn the tables on the Blue Jays Friday night, but were unable to capitalize, especially with the bases loaded and the heart of their lineup due up.  “We just didn’t get the big hit.  That’s the name of the game,” said first baseman Mark Teixeira.  “Some nights you do, some nights you don’t.  Tonight we definitely didn’t.”  Second baseman Robinson Cano continues to produce huge numbers offensively and slugged two home runs in the loss, but the team went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  New York is 10-6 in home games this season.

Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett is making his sixth start of the season and will be making his 10th career start versus the Blue Jays.  The veteran right-hander enters with a 3-1 record and 3.52 ERA.  He recorded his first loss of the season last time out versus Chicago, allowing just a single earned run and three hits in a season-high 8.0 innings.  The defeat marked his first loss in the month of April as a Yankee.  Burnett played in Toronto for three seasons, going 38-26 with a 3.94 ERA in 81 appearances (80 starts).

Bettors will likely back the Blue Jays due to being 5-0 in Drabek’s last five starts, while the Yankees are 2-12 in Burnett’s last 14 starts versus the American League East.

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