The Toronto Blue Jays struck first in this three-game set between AL East contenders with a win on Friday night, and now the New York Yankees will look to answer back with their Cy Young contender on the mound. First pitch from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is set for 1:05 p.m. ET. Alek Manoah (1-1, 6.98 ERA) will look to right the ship for the Jays, while Gerrit Cole (4-0, 0.95) toes the slab for New York.
The Yankees are currently -175 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Toronto is a +150 underdog. The run total is set at 7.5
Blue Jays-Yankees picks: Saturday, April 22
Out: RP Mitch White (elbow), Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow), RP Chad Green (elbow)
Out: OF Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow), 3B Josh Donaldson (hamstring), SP Luis Severino (lat), OF Harrison Bader (oblique), RP Lou Trivino (elbow), SP Carlos Rodon (elbow), RP Tommy Kahnle (biceps), C Ben Rortvedt (finger), SP Frankie Montas (shoulder), RP Scott Effross (elbow), SP Luis Gil (elbow)
Alek Manoah vs. Gerrit Cole
After finishing third in AL Cy Young voting last year, Manoah has had a puzzlingly slow start to 2023, striking out well less than a batter per inning with an ERA nearing seven. Command has been the main culprit: Manoah leads the American League in walks with 15 over his first four starts, and the team thinks that the righty has started to press as his problems worsen. This could be a spot to turn things around, though: Manoah has excelled against the Yankees in his career, with a 2.31 ERA over six starts, and this New York lineup has been ravaged by injuries
Cole seems determined to make a run at his first career Cy Young Award, leading the league in wins and innings pitched after a masterful complete-game shutout against the Minnesota Twins last weekend. More frighteningly of all, the righty doesn’t even seem fully locked in yet, as his walk rate is a bit higher than his career norm and he’s still missing about a tick of velocity on his four-seam fastball. The Blue Jays — and in particular Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — have had some success against Cole in the past, though.
This is a very low number, but with good reason: Cole has been as good as anyone so far this year, while this Yankees lineup is a shell of itself due to injury. New York has scored five or more runs exactly three times over the last two weeks, so despite Manoah’s struggles, I’m expecting a low-scoring affair this afternoon.
Pick: Under 7.5
It’s just awfully hard to trust this Yankees offense right now. The Blue Jays have seen plenty of Cole over the last few years, so they know what to expect and they have the bats to scratch out at least a couple of runs. I have a feeling that this is the spot where Manoah locks in and looks like his 2022 self, so I’m taking Toronto and the better odds.
Pick: Blue Jays