The New York Yankees (81-77) may not make the postseason themselves, but they’ve had a whale of a time playing spoiler while taking the first two games of their three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays (87-71) this week. The Bombers will go for the sweep on Thursday night, with first pitch from Rogers Centre set for 7:07 p.m. ET. Righty Luke Weaver (3-5, 6.47 ERA) will go for New York, while Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.74) looks to get the Jays back on track and one win closer to a Wild Card berth.
Toronto enters as -180 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Yankees at +150. The run total is set at 9.
Yankees-Blue Jays picks: Thursday, September 28
Out: RP Anthony Misiewicz (concussion), RP Keynan Middleton (right shoulder inflammation), RP Tommy Kahnle (right shoulder inflammation), RP Wandy Peralta (left triceps strain), OF Jasson Dominguez (right ulnar collateral ligament tear), RP Jonathan Loaisiga (right elbow inflammation), SP Luis Severino (left oblique strain)
Out: C Danny Jansen (fractured right middle finger), RP Adam Cimber (right shoulder impingement), RP Hagen Danner (left oblique strain), INF/OF Otto Lopez (left oblique strain)
Luke Weaver vs. Chris Bassitt
Picked up off the scrap heap when the post-deadline Yankees were looking for warm bodies to eat up innings, Weaver has made two starts with New York. He struggled in his Yankees debut, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in four innings against the Pirates, but he followed that up by throwing 5.1 scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks last week. 14 of his 24 starts have resulted in four or more runs, though so it’s likely that that performance was more a fluke than anything else.
Bassitt, meanwhile, has been his usual sturdy self in September, with a 3.33 ERA over four starts this month. He struggled in a five-run outing against the Rangers a couple of weeks ago, but that was the only start in his last five in which he allowed more than two earned runs. The righty has been sensational all second half, with a 3.19 ERA and eight quality starts since the All-Star break. He’s faced the Yankees once before this season, firing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts back in May.
Weaver doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence here, but he’s also unlikely to have a particularly long leash in this game if he struggles, and New York’s bullpen remains solid. Mostly, though, I’m leaning under here because I don’t think the Yankees are likely to do much of any damage against Bassitt. That puts a lot of pressure on a Toronto offense that’s tended to blow hot and cold, even against mediocre pitching.
Pick: Under 9
Don’t overthink this one. The Jays very much need this game to avoid their Wild Card status getting too hairy, and Bassitt vs. Weaver is a mismatch in favor of the home team. New York has struggled against Bassitt in particular and right-handed pitching generally, and there’s nothing to suggest Weaver can keep them in this game for long.
Pick: Blue Jays -180