MLB Betting Preview: Blue Jays Vs. Yankees (April 6) Predictions

Toronto Blue Jays pitching overwhelmed the New York Yankees in their home opener Friday, as Yusei Kikuchi and the bullpen shut out the Bombers 3-0, holding them to six hits and striking New York out 11 times.

While the Jays wait for their top hitters to gain some measure of consistency, they have gotten boosts from some bench bats to keep their season on track. Ernie Clement hit the home run that got them going Friday, just as Davis Schneider had on Tuesday.

Bet on Blue Jays vs. Yankees

TOR +100
NYY -116

The teams resume their division rivalry Saturday in the Bronx, with the Blue Jays installed as slight road underdogs despite riding behind their ace, Kevin Gausman.

Blue Jays vs. Yankees odds

Blue Jays Moneyline Odds+102 at FanDuel
Yankees Moneyline Odds-109 at Pinnacle
Runline oddsYankees -1.5 (+190) at Pinnacle
Blue Jays -1.5 (+168) at FanDuel
Over/UnderOver 7.5 runs (-101) at Pinnacle
Under 7.5 runs (-105) at Powerplay
Time/DateApril 6, 7:05 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet

Betting Toronto Blue Jays (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS, 4-4 o/u)

The formula has become familiar to Blue Jays fans: simply out-pitch the opponent and survive a lack of output from a hit-and-miss offence. The Blue Jays haven’t seen their lineup show much consistency this season, but it didn’t show much all of last season either. Most of the Jays’ hitters have gotten off to sluggish starts, though a couple of notable exceptions are newcomer Justin Turner (.960 OPS) and Schneider, who has hit just .167 but mashed two home runs in only 12 at-bats. The Jays rank 27th in the majors with a .586 OPS and 22nd in runs with 25.

That the Jays are at 4-4 on the young season speaks to the stoutness of their pitching, as former Jay Marcus Stroman was the latest starting pitcher to effectively unplug their offence. Kikuchi struck out seven Yankees while shutting them out over 5 1/3 innings. Kikuchi and José Berríos both have sub-3.00 ERAs and Gausman was strong in his first start of 2024 after dealing with an injury scare in spring training.

The Jays can probably contend all season based on their pitching depth alone, but they’re not going to be factors in a stacked AL East unless the hitters start living up to the names on the backs of their jerseys.

Betting New York Yankees (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS, 1-6-1)

A rare earthquake on the Eastern seaboard rocked the Bronx during Yankees batting practice Friday, but it didn’t seem to put much of a jolt in the Yankees’ bats once the game began. The Bombers got their season off to a flying start with a 6-1 road trip, but it was largely on the strength of their pitching. New York ranks 21st in the majors with a .666 OPS thus far.

Friday was all about the first regular-season game in pinstripes for superstar Juan Soto, who has gotten off to a solid start with a .819 OPS on the young season, though Kikuchi and the Jays cooled him off with an 0-for-4, two-strikeout game. Rumour has it that Soto is eying a record $500 million contract extension and the Yankees seem as likely as any team to hand it to him. It’s easy to see why. Last season, he ranked in the 99th percentile for hard-hit rate and in the 100th percentile for walk rate. He is only 25 years old.

Thus far, only the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians have pitched better than the Yankees staff, which sports a 2.59 ERA. Stroman, a New York native, has looked like a smart acquisition thus far, ranking 13th in WHIP at 0.83. Clay Holmes has been strong as the closer, piling up three saves already and pitching to a 1.38 ERA.

Aaron Judge (NYY) to Hit a Home Run


Probable Pitchers

New York: RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-0, 5.06 ERA, 8.44 K/9, 1.31 WHIP)

The Yankees showed some faith in Clarke this spring by not signing one of the pitchers available deep in free agency such as Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. After pitching almost entirely in relief from 2020 through 2023, Clarke has a bona fide opportunity to hold onto a rotation spot if he can pitch well enough to keep it. He pitched a so-so season opener against the Houston Astros Sunday, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out five batters in 5 1/3 innings. José Altuve clipped him for a solo home run.

By today’s standards, Schmidt’s stuff is far from overpowering – his sinker, which is his primary fastball, averages 94 mph – but he has a deep pitch mix. In addition to the cutter and sinker, he throws a sweeper and curveball while, occasionally, mixing in a changeup. He relies on command. In 2023, his walk rate was good enough to put him in the 77th percentile even though his hard-hit and whiff rates were mediocre at best. He has been effective against these Jays hitters in the past, though Justin Turner (1.232 OPS, home run) and Bo Bichette (1.357 OPS, one home run) have gotten some traction in small sample sizes.

Toronto: RHP Kevin Gausman (0-0, 2.08 ERA, 12.46 K/9, 0.46 WHIP)

The Blue Jays had an injury scare when their ace worked through some shoulder fatigue early in spring training, but Gausman was able to recover in time to avoid the injured list for Opening Day. He made his season debut on Sunday vs. the Tampa Bay Rays and looked a lot like he has in recent seasons, like one of the most dominant strikeout artists working these days. He struck out six Tampa Bay hitters in just 4 1/3 innings while allowing one run, a Randy Arozarena home run, on two hits. The Jays let Gausman throw just 69 pitches in that game, an indication that he’s somewhat behind the other pitchers when it comes to building up for the regular season.

The Yankees no doubt will look to exploit that by driving up Gausman’s pitch count with deliberate at-bats and getting to Toronto’s middle relievers. It’s reasonable to expect Gausman to have 85 pitches or so at his disposal for this game, but he’s unlikely to be extended as high as 100. While Gausman has been effective against most of these Yankees’ hitters, Aaron Judge has a 1.095 OPS and three home runs off him in 31 at-bats.


It will be chilly in the bleachers Saturday evening, as forecasters are calling for overcast skies and temperatures of about 7 C in New York, with winds whipping briskly out to right field at about 18 km/h.

  • The Yankees are tied with the Houston Astros thus far when it comes to hitting the most unders in the major leagues this young season. The total has gone under in six of the Yankees’ eight games.
  • The Jays have been stout as underdogs this season, winning three of the seven games in which they have gotten odds. The moneyline in this game implies the Jays have a 52% chance of winning.
  • Neither team has gotten its power game going thus far. New York ranks 22nd in slugging percentage (.348) while Toronto ranks 28th (.307).
  • In his last five games. Anthony Volpe is batting .450 with a home run and two doubles. He has struck out four times in 20 at-bats while failing to walk in that span.
  • Justin Turner has gone 0 for his last 5 right after a stretch of six hits in 10 at-bats, including a home run.
  • Oswaldo Cabrera has gotten off to a strong start, with a double, two home runs and a couple of walks. He is batting .346 and slugging .615.

MLB Bets To Consider

  • The Yankees have been cashing under tickets all season. The Jays’ offence has been even worse than the team’s record would suggest, with virtually nothing to like about the team’s performance in the batters’ box thus far. Though Gausman will be limited by a conservative pitch count and Schmidt still is getting his feet under him as a starter, this game has the potential to be low-scoring given a couple of strong bullpens. Consider banking on the under again.
  • Most of the prop action figures to come in on Soto, but he could feel the pressure of the adoration – many fans sported Dominican flags and the ovations were deafening on Friday – so perhaps this is a spot to wager on the Yanks’ established MVP contender instead. Judge, as we mentioned, has had a bit of success against Gausman and we like the +270 odds on him here to pick up his fourth home run off the Jays’ righty.