Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
The Yankees will help their cause in the battle for the American League East when they get the better of the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday on the road. With just a handful of games remaining in the season and New York battling for the top of the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees will definitely be motivated to secure the division title. The difference between a Wild Card spot and winning the East is bigger this year than ever before (under new rules, two Wild Card teams face off in a one-game play-off, while the division winners are assured at least one post-season full series). Andy Pettitte is the right person for the Yanks to have on the pitcher’s mound for this one. Since coming off the disabled list following a two-month hiatus, he has been impressive, going 2-0 with 11 scoreless innings in two starts. Throughout his career, Pettitte has also been a winner at the Rogers Centre, holding a 15-5 record with a 3.80 ERA in 23 appearances.
Toronto pitcher Ricky Romero is limping into the end of the season. He was able to break a 13-game losing streak his last time out, but he didn’t throw particularly well. He gave up four runs in five-plus innings of work against the Orioles. Since June 22, Romero’s ERA is 7.36. Go with New York at 1.55 as opposed to the Blue Jays at 2.45.
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
An ever-improving starting pitcher will be a difference-maker for the Braves when they host the Mets. Atlanta’s Mike Minor has turned the corner recently after a very wobbly beginning to the season. In his last 14 starts, Minor has delivered a 2.37 ERA and held hitters to a meager .197 batting average.
In contrast, Mets starter Chris Young hasn’t pitched his best on the road, registering a 4.45 ERA away compared to a 3.93 ERA at home. Also, he hasn’t had much luck historically at Turner Field, posting a 1-2 record with a 7.71 ERA over three starts. Pick Atlanta at 1.50 as Minor should outduel Young and the Mets (on at 2.60).