Blue Jays open series against Yankees as underdogs on Friday

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, right, high fives with teammate Randal Grichuk after hitting a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox. (Fred Thornhill/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays will be looking to tally their third win in four meetings with the New York Yankees when they open a three-game weekend series with the AL East leaders on Friday as +155 home underdogs on the MLB odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto continues a six-game homestand against divisional rivals after posting a 7-4 loss in Thursday’s series finale with the Boston Red Sox. The Blue Jays fell to 3-2 in five home contests going into Friday night’s matchup against the Yankees at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays have shown new life since returning home for their three-game set with the Red Sox. The team opened this week’s series with Boston by posting a pair of wins, all but eliminating the slumping World Series champions from postseason contention.

Toronto has also enjoyed some recent success against the Yankees, taking two of three from New York the last time these two teams met at Rogers Centre in mid-August. The Blue Jays limited New York to just seven total runs in that series, extending a stingy stretch that has seen the team hold the Yankees to four or fewer runs in seven of their past nine overall meetings.

That has contributed to a steady run for the under on the totals, which has gone 10-4 over the past 14 meetings between these rivals since September of last year, according to the OddsShark MLB Database. The Blue Jays would welcome an extension of that trend after surrendering some big run totals during their recent swoon. The club allowed 39 total runs during their recent seven-game slide, but turned things around against the Red Sox, limiting Boston to just 10 total runs in this week’s three contests.

The Yankees arrive in town for Friday’s contest as strong -180 favourites after closing out a three-game set in Detroit with wins in both halves of a doubleheader on Thursday. New York followed up a 10-4 rout of the Tigers as -215 favourites on Tuesday afternoon with a 6-4 victory on Thursday night, and has now avoided consecutive defeats during a 14-5 run.

New York’s current surge has all but assured the team of a return to postseason action for the fourth time in five seasons. The Yankees enter the weekend well ahead of second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East standings, and remain in a tight three-way race on the World Series odds, trailing only the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers as a +375 wager.

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