Last weekend the thought of the New York Yankees winning the American League East was nearly laid to rest after the Blue Jays took 3-out-of-4 games from the Yanks in Yankee Stadium. If that wasn’t enough, after a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Mets on Friday night to open up the final round of the 2015 Subway Series, the Yankees were pushed to 4.5 games back of the Blue Jays, and it started to feel like it was wild card or bust.
Flash forward to Sunday night and the end of another week in baseball, and the Yankees now sit just 2.5 games back of the Jays thanks to another series win over the Mets and a little help from our dear friends up in Boston who managed to take 2-out-of-3 from the first place Blue Jays.
So do the math.
If the Yankees manage to sweep the Jays on the road, they’ll find themselves in sole position of first place in the American League East by Wednesday night, a position they haven’t held since August 22nd.
Obviously this will not be an easy task. The pitching match ups will be as followed;
Right off the bat the Yankees will be at a disadvantage. The series will kick-off with Adam Warren making just his second start since being inserted back into the Yankees rotation against potential AL Cy Young winner David Price. Their next two pitchers will be Luis Severino and Ivan Nova, each of whom were absolutely shelled last weekend against the Blue Jays. Severino lasted just 2.1 innings while Nova lasted just 1.2 innings in the worst start of both of their seasons. Ivan Nova was even pulled from the Yankees starting rotation following his brutal outing, and only finds himself back on the mound to spot-start for the ‘injured’ Masahiro Tanaka. To make matters worse for the Yankees, Marcus Stroman is a perfect 2-0 since coming back from the DL for Toronto.
However, the Blue Jays will have their fair share of struggles as well. Not only are they just 4-4 since losing Troy Tulowitzki to injury, but the Yankees offense is finally starting to click. Jacoby Ellsbury seems to finally have found his swing, riding a four-game hitting streak and coming off a 3-5 performance last night at Citi Field. Carlos Beltran looks like the same Beltran we saw in 2013 with the St.Louis Cardinals and the Yankees are continuing to get key contributions from guys like the rookie Gregory Bird and the newly acquired Dustin Ackley, each of whom hit three-run homers over the weekend to help down the Mets.
The Blue Jays are currently 11-5 against the Yankees this year, but that’s rather here nor there. What matters now is what happens over the course of these next three games up in Toronto at the Rodgers Centre.
This is undoubtedly the most important series of the season for either team.
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