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Yanks Welcome Jays For Weekend Series

Hiroki Kuroda and the New York Yankees will look to continue a strong start to the second half.

Hiroki Kuroda and the New York Yankees will look to continue a strong start to the second half.

A division battle will heat up Friday as the New York Yankees host the Toronto Blue Jays in the first of three weekend games in the Big Apple.

First pitch at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

While the Baltimore Orioles currently sit at the top of the AL East standings with a three-game lead, the Yankees and Blue Jays are separated by nothing more than one percentage point.

20140724_AL_EastSomewhat miraculously, New York (53-48, 24-24 home) remains in the race for the division title despite a long list of injuries, a well-documented list that includes four of five starting pitchers.

Yet the Yankees have managed to keep their heads above water and continue to challenge. With six wins in seven games since the All-Star break, Joe Girardi’s side will  head into this weekend’s series confident of inducing some daylight between itself and the team from north of the border. If things go accordingly, the Yankees could even gain ground on the Orioles at the top of the division.

Toronto (54-49, 24-26 road) has savored the taste of sitting at the top of the division for a good portion of this season, but a run of poor form heading into the break not only saw John Gibbons’ club relinquish the lead but also slip down the standings.

Having taken three straight from the Boston Red Sox heading into this game, the Jays – winners of five of seven since the break – will look to continue to build momentum with a rare road win and a very rare win in New York City.

After beginning the season 21-13 on the road, the Blue Jays have won just three of their last 16 away from Rogers Centre. They’ve also lost 16 straight in the Bronx. That’s not comfortable reading for the Jays.

Friday night’s series opener features a matchup of veteran pitches.

Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 3.88 ERA) will take the mound for the home side.

Kuroda continues to anchor the Yankees’ decimated starting lineup, and while his record and ERA are no indication of this, he almost always gives the Yankees at least an opportunity to win.

The 39-year-old went 6 2/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, yielding just one run on three hits. He left with decisionless, but the Yankees went on to win the game. More of the same will be good enough for the right-hander on Friday.

  • Kuroda is 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA in nine career games (9 starts) against Toronto
  • Kuroda is 21-12 with a 2.86 ERA in 43 career games (43 starts) at Yankee Stadium

Mark Buehrle (10-6, 2.86 ERA) will toe the rubber for the visiting Blue Jays.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for Buerhle so far this year. The 35-year-old began the year going 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA in his first 12 games. Since then, he’s tallied a 0-5 record with a 4.06 ERA in eight games.

The left-hander will be looking to turn things around against the Yankees, a team he’s gone 1-1 against this season, but history might not favor him in this matchup.

  • Buehrle is 1-11 with a 5.81 ERA in 18 career games (18 starts) against the Yankees
  • Buehrle is 0-5 with a 5.18 ERA in five career games (5 starts) at the new Yankee Stadium

Offensively, the Yankees will be without Kelly Johnson (groin), who was placed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday, while Mark Teixeira (lat) is listed as day-to-day. Girardi expects to make a decision on sending the veteran first baseman to the DL prior to the game.

Toronto isn’t without its own share of injury woes. Edwin Encarnacion (quadriceps), Brett Lawrie (finger), Adam Lind (foot) and Nolan Reimold (calf) are all on the 15-day list while Maicer Izturis (LCL) is done for the year.

Mark Buehrle will look to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a rare road victory over the New York Yankees on Friday.

Mark Buehrle will look to lead the Jays to a rare road victory over the New York Yankees on Friday.

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees odds for 07/23/2014

New York (-135) opened as the favorite over Toronto (+125) on the moneyline.

The Yankees have won 18 of their last 25 meetings with the Blue Jays, and 16 straight when the two sides have met at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are 6-3 against the Blue Jays this season, and 3-0 at Yankee Stadium.

Some other trends to consider:

  • Toronto is 37-28 in night games
  • New York is 32-36 in night games
  • Toronto is 21-18 vs. AL East opponents
  • New York is 18-20 vs. AL East opponents
  • Toronto is 41-34 vs. right-handed pitching
  • New York is 14-15 vs. left-handed pitching
  • Toronto is 9-10 in the month of July
  • New York is 12-8 in the month of July
  • Toronto is 5-2 since the All-Star break
  • New York is 6-1 since the All-Star break

The total opened at 8.

The total has gone under in each of New York’s last five home games, as well as eight of Tornoto’s last 11 on the road.

Four of the last five head-to-head matchups between the sides have seen the over pay out, but four of the last five the two teams have played at Yankee Stadium have seen the total go under.


The series continues over the weekend with the following start times: Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET; Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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