Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4973 Toronto Blue Jays vs.
#4974 New York Yankees
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 7:05pm EDT
Written by The Tower

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Even this late into the season, these clubs still have six more battles between each other. The Toronto Blue Jays (83-67; before Tuesday's game) and New York Yankees (76-74) will get the first out of the way on Tuesday night. Then, there's this Wednesday contest that will bring these teams one step closer to their final fate. Yankee Stadium gets the game, beginning at 7:05 p.m. EDT. Who will take the second clash of this three-game set?


*Published before Tuesday's results

Blue Jays Need Big Finish

Holding a 1.0-game edge over the Mariners and Rangers before this series began, Toronto's playoff spot is far from safe. Especially since both of those teams will have the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays. So, they need to take down foes they've struggled with the most, AL East rivals, down the stretch. Wednesday will continue the stretch, with Kevin Gausman on the mound. Gausman should finish with Cy Young votes this season, led by his AL-best strikeout rate (among qualified pitchers). He's started against the Yankees twice this year, holding them to three runs (two earned) over 14.0 innings. Gausman hasn't been as sharp lately, allowing at least three runs in three of his past four starts. Still, he's been one of the AL's top starters in 2023. Toronto has a strong bullpen too, so they can hold up in the late innings.

If the away-hitting version of the Blue Jays continues to show up, this game should go well. Toronto improves to a .767 team OPS on the road. Overall, this Blue Jays team just makes every out difficult. They're sixth in strikeout rate, sixth in OBP, and 10th in batting average this season. Toronto also has a solid walk rate (12th) to help them do damage. Their hard-hit rate (21st) is low, and their baserunning could use some work, but the Blue Jays rank 16th in runs per game anyway. They'll try to bring that number up before the season ends in a few weeks.

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New York's Desperation Run

Trailing Toronto by 7.0 games with six head-to-head matchups left, New York can still make a run if optimists squint hard enough. They've been trying their best, winning six of their last eight before this series started. Mustering anything at the plate will be the Yankees' primary concern. This has been one of MLB's worst offenses, not helped by (many) injuries, ranking 23rd in runs per game. They're 29th in batting average, 26th in OBP, and 21st in slugging percentage. The latter two stats are despite a top-10 walk rate and home run total. The Yankees' baserunning is also subpar in more ways than just stealing bases. Getting hits is never a given with this club, which doesn't bode well for run-production. 

Depending on pitching has been New York's plan in 2023. The bullpen is great, with MLB's best ERA, groundball rate, and LOB%. Michael King spent a long time as a reliever this season but is back in the rotation because of injuries. The New York native's last five appearances have been starts, with only five total runs (three earned) allowed across those 21.1 innings of work. In the past four, he's tossed at least 4.0 innings while racking up 26 strikeouts against two walks. He's still not pitching into games, but that's what the great bullpen is for. So far, his stuff hasn't faltered in the new role.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Kevin Gausman's first 2023 start in Yankee Stadium was a beauty, 7.0 innings of three-hit ball. He didn't allow a run then, and against this beat-up offense with higher stakes, he probably won't blink again. Toronto's relievers have done a fantastic job at shutting the door most of the year, so they shouldn't have any issues against an offense with MLB's second-lowest batting average.

While batting average is far from the only offensive metric, the Yankees are 23rd in runs per game, so there's a heavy correlation. New York may get blanked again by this Blue Jays pitching staff. As for Toronto's offense, their .265/.335/.432 slash line on the road will play in Yankee Stadium. Their guys love hitting in the Bronx, such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and his .968 career OPS visiting the Yankees. Take Toronto in game two.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays -110

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Five of the first seven meetings between these clubs finished under the total, and it makes sense. Both teams are top-10 in run prevention this season. Of those five low-scoring bouts, that includes all three games the first time these teams met in Yankee Stadium. It may be a nice park for homers, but it's generally pitcher-friendly.

Kevin Gausman has 14.0 innings pitched against the 2023 Yankees and has only given up three runs (two earned). Half of those innings were a shutout, three-hit performance in New York. Michael King only has 3.2 innings pitched against Toronto, all in relief, but he only gave up two hits and one run in that span. Behind each starter is a strong bullpen. This should be another low-scoring affair.

Prediction: Under 7.5

Written By Andre Ifill , "The Tower"

Watching, playing, and talking about sports has always been an essential part of my life. I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Communication, and now, I'm striving to be an essential voice in sports media for decades to come. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone more competitive than me, and that extends into my sports betting predictions as well. We're all here to win, and my goal is to make that happen every single night while letting my personality shine in the process. I am honored to be apart of this team.  

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