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Rick's MLB Plays 8/20

Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees (1:05 ET)


Favorite: Yankees -185

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Mitch White (3.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) vs. Gerrit Cole (3.31 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)


The Yankees are currently in free-fall, buoyed by their unbelievable start to the season they have lost 5 series in a row and have dropped the first two of a 4-game homestand to division Rivals (and quickly ascending) Blue Jays. Without some big names in their bullpen (Chad Green, Clay Holmes, Michael King) and bats like Michael Carpenter and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees haven't been able to rely on either their pitching or offense. Gerrit Cole would be the pitcher to turn the tides for the Yankees, and he might, but he's had his struggles lately himself. Before two brilliant starts against the Mariners and Rays he had allowed 14 runs over 18 innings. He's also struggled against the Blue Jays in particular, allowing 10 runs over his last 15.1 innings against the team from the north.


Mitch White was cast aside by the Dodgers, traded to the Blue Jays as the Dodgers' starters regained their health. While he only manages to go about 5 innings a game, Mitch White has been solid and is looking to solidify himself in the rotation for the Blue Jays as Kikuchi struggles and Hyun Jin Ryu stays on the Injured List. The former 2nd round pick has been solid over his last four outings, allowing just 6 runs over 20.1 innings - good for a sub-three ERA. Toronto's bats have picked up, scoring 19 runs over their last 3 games now and if they can get to Cole like they have in the past this game could snowball in their favor. Given the pressure and motivation of the Wild Card race and the complacency of the Yankees, the mindsets of both of these teams are in completely different places. Give me the Blue Jays on the runline.


Pick: Blue Jays +1.5 -135 (1u)

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St Louis Cardinals @ Arizona Diamondbacks (8:10 ET)


Favorite: Cardinals -140

Total: 9

Pitchers: Dakota Hudson (4.17 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) vs. Madison Bumgarner (4.37 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)


My cap for this game is fairly straight forward, but I'll start it by breaking down Madison Bumgarner. The 33-year-old is still churning out respectable performances, shown by his 4.37 ERA. His WHIP complimented with an xERA of 5.13 indicate regression is due though, as the pitcher who churned out elite level seasons in San Francisco is just not the same anymore. Notably, his average exit velocity is up above 90 MPH, putting him among the bottom 10 percent of pitchers in the league. Pair that with a fastball that's lost its zip and a whiff rate that is also bottom ten percent and it adds up to a poor performance coming.


Moving to the Cardinals, there is no worse matchup for Mad Bum. The Cardinals lead the Major Leagues in OPS, OBP, and wRC+ against lefties this season and to make matters worse for the veteran, they lead the majors in August in literally every offensive category. This team is surging at the right time and is looking to build on what is now a 3.5 game lead on the Brewers. Expect them to put up a plethora of runs on Bumgarner, and lets not even worry about the matchup of Hudson against the Diamondbacks offense.


Pick: Cardinals TT o4.5 -130 (1u)

Neville E. Guard - USA TODAY Sports

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