- Toronto v NY Red Bulls
- Wednesday May 17, 2023, 19:30 ET
- At BMO Field
NY Red Bulls earned a much-needed victory over NYCFC at the weekend and it is a good pick to gain a second win against struggling Toronto on Wednesday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks Toronto is the favorite with bettors to win this game, but there is not a great deal in it as the two bottom teams in the Eastern Conference go head to head. NY Red Bulls is rated as a +186 chance while the draw is priced at +235.
|Toronto v NY Red Bulls|
|NY Red Bulls||+186||+187||+180|
Toronto Rock Bottom in East
It is fair to say that Toronto’s season has not exactly gone to plan so far. Expectations were not that high, but there was some hope that a forward line that includes Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi might be able to help the team sustain a mid-table challenge someway into the season.
That has not happened. Instead, Toronto finds itself at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, level on points with Wednesday’s opponents. The forward line is indeed playing at a slightly higher level, and the goals scored column shows 13 from 12 games, but defensively, the team has been abysmal. Only two teams in the Conference have poorer defensive records, in fact.
A draw habit has also developed, and the team has finished level in six of its 12 games so far, with only two wins, against Inter Miami and NYCFC, as well as four defeats. There’s a long way to go, but the team needs to improve its form or risk being out of contention by the halfway stage.
Signs of a New York Revival
As is often the way, a new head coach has produced a dramatic turnaround in fortunes, and NY Red Bulls dragged itself off the bottom of the Eastern Conference table with a 1-0 home win in the Hudson River derby over the weekend, though is only ahead of Toronto on goal difference.
A New York Red Bulls revival could not come too soon for a team that had lost its way under Gerhard Struber. Troy Lesesne inherited a team that had won one of its eleven games and that was low on morale and confidence following the controversy caused by Dante Vanzeir’s racist remarks, which landed the player with a seven-match ban and had the team’s own fans walking out in disgust.
Amid the chaos, the famous NY Red Bulls high press had ceased to function, and the goals had dried up. The team has managed only eight from its games so far, which ranks joint bottom across the whole of MLS, and that has to change if Lesesne is going to be able to salvage anything from this season.
MLS Match Betting Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting this year between these two old Eastern Conference rivals and the 34th edition of a fixture that dates back to 2009.
Toronto won its first two games against the New York team, but the head-to-head record shows that this rivalry has mostly been dominated by the Red Bulls. In total, NY Red Bulls has won 18 out of the 34 matches played, with Toronto winning eight and eight ending in draws.
In recent seasons, that dominance has been marked. Toronto hasn’t won any of the last seven games against these opponents and last season, NY Red Bulls won both matches, by scores of 2-0 and 4-1. Red Bulls fans will be hoping their team can extend that strong record on Wednesday.
MLS Match Betting Team News
Christian Gutierrez didn’t take part in the weekend game against Montreal, due to an illness, so it remains to be seen whether he will be fit for this one, and Matt Hedges also looks like a doubtful starter here.
In other team news, the quintet of Jonathan Osorio, Michael Bradley, Jordan Perruzza, Raoul Petretta and Victor Vazquez are also likely to be missing due to ongoing lower-body injuries. Aime Mabika, who started both of the recent games against Montreal, should be in line for his third Toronto appearance.
For NY Red Bulls, Dante Vanzeir is still suspended, although this will be his final game of the seven-match penalty. A host of other Red Bulls players are also questionable for this game, including Kyle Duncan, Frankie Amaya, Matt Nocita, Steven Sserwadda, Luquinhas, Lewis Morgan and Serge Ngoma.
MLS Match Betting Pick
Both of Toronto’s wins this season have come at home, so it is a team that is clearly more comfortable on its home patch. Still, it is hard to look past recent results, including back-to-back defeats against Montreal. NY Red Bulls’ revival is fragile but a new head coach can have a positive effect, changing the dynamic in the dressing room and offering a fresh start, and the visiting team looks the best pick here.