Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Yankees vs Blue Jays, Sept. 29

Kyle Barrette

It’s a five team sprint to the finish line for the AL wild card and it couldn’t have been scripted any better, as four of the five teams are facing off in a head to head series that will most likely eliminate two of the five teams. The Jays, Yankees, Mariners and A’s all started three game series yesterday and the Red Sox are the odd team out, but should consider themselves fortunate that they basically get a layup series in Baltimore. Although they are playing the worst team in baseball, one slip up could cause them to be the odd team out. Oakland is on very thin ice and one loss would all but eliminate them from any hopes of a postseason berth. Seattle needs to keep their foot on the gas pedal as one team from the Yankees and Jays series will end up in one of the wild card spots after this series is over. 

New York is the only team with a tiny cushion here and is lucky to be controlling their own destiny at this point, considering it was a rough first half of the season for the Bombers. For the Yankees, it’s simple, just keep winning and you’re in. Today, they send Cole to the hill and for all intents and purposes, you can say this is the spot you get paid the big bucks for. Your team is in a pivotal playoff race and needs each game and you’re paid in excess of 300 million, so you better be on point. Cole has been just that for the Yankees especially as of late. New York’s slow start only has them 16-13 in games Cole has started which is hard to believe seeing how effective he’s been. In seven of his last eight starts, he has allowed three runs or less. Over that span, the Yankees are six and two in those games. Cole had a solid outing last time he was called on in a big spot as he led off the series against Boston and did not disappoint. He was given a ton of run support and allowed the Sox to only score three in a Yankee win. Cole has pitched well against Toronto, in four starts he has only allowed eight runs and Cole has a 2-1-1 record. Last time New York only provided Cole with one run of support. With the Bombers bats heating up things should be different this time around.

Toronto knows beating New York in this series is likely their only way into the postseason. With the Red Sox playing two series against sub .500 teams to close out the year, it’s likely they’re not going to lose enough games for Toronto to leapfrog them. The Jays also know a poor performance in this series could lead to them falling behind Seattle. Toronto is up in this season series 10 games to six and knows how to beat this team. Berrios takes the mound for the Jays and he has only pitched against the Yankees one time this season and he pitched well in a Blue Jay win. He went almost seven innings only giving up five hits and allowing two runs. The Jays are going to need a similar outing from Berrios to have a shot at winning this one as they face an uphill battle offensively against Cole.

Yankees vs Blue Jays: The Pick
A side is hard to choose here and even Vegas knows that as this game is basically a pick ’em. Think about it, when was the last time you saw Cole pitching where he was a pick ’em? Looking at the total here it’s 8.5 runs and with these two pitchers on the hill that’s a solid number. With the o/u at 5-11 respectively in this series, we’re going to take the under 8.5 in this one.

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