Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Blue Jays @ Yankees

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 The Yankees come back home for a huge series with Toronto which will begin on Tuesday. The Blue Jays come into town leading the second place Yankees by 4.5 games. The Yankees would obviously love a sweep but at the least, the Bombers need to take two of three. This way, they don’t finish this series more than 3.5 games out of the race.

 

                                               Probable Pitching Match-ups

       Blue Jays                                                  @                                                Yankees

 Marcus Stroman             Tuesday, June 17th:  7:05 pm EST             Masahiro Tanaka

    Mark Buehrle            Wednesday, June 18th: 7:05 pm EST              Chase Whitley

  Drew Hutchison            Thursday, June 19th: 7:05 pm EST                 David Phelps

 

Who’s Hot?: The Blue Jays have seen a power shortage over the past half dozen games with only one home run being hit for the team. Although Jose Bautista didn’t have a homer either, he is still hitting over .350 in his past 22 at-bats with a few RBIs. The Yankees captain is still on fire hitting nearly .500 in the same span but another Yankee playing extremely well is no other than Masahiro Tanaka. He is 4-1 with an ERA of just 1.77 during the past thirty days.

Who’s Not?: Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera have not had their best swings over the last week. After a historic May for Encarnacion, he has really slowed down especially the last week hitting just .250 with one homer and four RBIS. Cabrera has struggled even more hitting under .200 with just two RBIs on his resume.                                               

                                                       *What To Watch For*

Masahiro Tanaka will start the first game against the first place Blue Jays as the Yankees will try to close the gap between the two teams. The only start Tanaka has against the Blue Jays cam in his first major league start on April 4th when he gave up six hits and two earned runs through seven innings. When Chase Whitley gets the ball on Wednesday, it will be he first time he has matched up against the Jays. Whitley has been very solid for the Yankees this year and almost a savior for them as the team continues to tread water.

David Phelps takes the mound for the final game of the 3 game set. Phelps owns the group of Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, and Adam Lind. Against them, the 27-year old has held them to a .189 average (7 for 37). The rest of the team has not done much better picking up just three hits in 14 at-bats for a .214 average. The Yankees can really make the A.L. East interesting with a couple wins in the series.

 

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