The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees will kick off the second half of their seasons with a three-game series in the Big Apple starting Friday. The two AL East teams have played six times this season, with the Yankees winning four of those meetings.
Not Much To Play For
Following the All-Star break, Toronto is 34-57 this season and in fourth place in the AL East, 24.5 games behind the Yankees. Their last 10 games going into the break, they were not able to establish much momentum as they were just 5-5. They will open their first series of the second half of the season on the road, where they are just 16-27 this season.
Getting the start for the Blue Jays will be starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez. The 27-year-old is just 3-12 this season with a 6.16 ERA. Sanchez is coming off a rough month of June where he gave up a minimum of four runs in all of his six starts and lost them all.
Sanchez would love to get his season back on track, but he is going to be facing a tall task, jumping right into the second half of the season facing the first-place team on the road.
Stealing the show for the Blue Jays over All-Star weekend was their top young star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Although he came in second in the Home Run Derby, the 20-year-old third baseman hit a record-setting 91 home runs in the tournament. He got a late start to the season this year, but look for him to surge forward and help put his team’s offense on the map for the rest of the year.
Going For A Title
The Yankees hold the top spot in the AL East with their 57-31 record in the first half of the season. Facing the Blue Jays at home should give them an easy kickoff to the second half as they look to fend off the Tampa Bay Rays, who are currently in second place, just 6.5 games back.
Domingo German will get the start for the Yankees in the first game of the series. German holds an impressive 10-2 record with a 3.67 ERA and 83 strikeouts. In his last outing before the break, the 26-year-old righty grabbed a win against the Mets after giving up just one run over six innings.
German has been solid for New York all season, and this should be a good first start to get the second half of the season off on the right foot.
With all the injuries the Yankees have faced this season, other names have stepped up in their place to lead the team in the batter’s box. DJ LeMahieu leads the team with his .336 batting average as well as his 63 runs batted in. Their star catcher Gary Sanchez leads the team in home runs with 24.
What to expect
This game is a typical David vs. Goliath matchup, except I think Goliath will take this round with ease. Not only is New York the better team, but they are at home, with a much better pitcher on the mound. Look for the Yankees to win this one big.