The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays continue a four-game American League East series Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Centre
New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
New York has lost three straight road games and the first two games of this particular series versus Toronto. “It’s not the way you want to start out, but let’s not make too much of it,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “It’s two games. We’ll get back on track and we’ll start playing well again.” Playing during the afternoon can certainly help the cause, as the Yankees enter with a Major League-best 26-5 record in day games. The pitching staff has been brilliant during these contests, posting a 2.68 ERA, which is the best mark in baseball. Despite its recent struggles this week, the Yankees remain just 1.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the division standings. New York is 23-18 on the road this season and 18-9 versus left-handed starters.
Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia is 13-4 with a 2.72 ERA in 20 starts this season and enters on a six-game winning streak. The power left-hander has actually tossed 23 2/3 scoreless innings over his last three starts, as New York has outscored those opponents by a 16-2 margin. Sabathia is actually 10-1 with a 2.20 ERA over his last 11 starts. He has proven victorious in each of his last five chances versus the Blue Jays, posting a 5-0 mark and 2.58 ERA over that span. The 30-year-old leads the majors in wins and is eighth in strikeouts.
Toronto has outscored New York by a 23-8 margin over the first two games of this series and the season series is now knotted at five games apiece. “We played a very clean game tonight,” said Blue Jays manager John Farrell in regards to Friday’s 7-1 win. “It was just a very solid team effort.” The Blue Jays have now won five games in a row for the first time since a season-high six-game streak from May 10-16. Outfielder Jose Bautista is always a key part in the team’s offensive attack, leading the majors with 31home runs, but it’s likely he’ll be limited by facing Sabathia. He has yet to tally a hit in 15 career at-bats against him. Toronto is 13-23 in day games this year.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Ricky Romero is 7-8 with a 3.09 ERA in 18 starts this season and was selected to the All-Star game, but didn’t pitch. The left-hander is coming off a 6-4 road loss to the Red Sox, giving up six runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. He has tallied a solid 4-2 record and 2.75 ERA in eight home outings, as opponents are hitting just .204 against him. In eight career starts versus the Yankees, Romero has garnered a 3-2 mark and 4.74 ERA, including a 1-0 record and 2.08 ERA in two appearances against them this year.
Bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 35-17 mark on Saturdays, while the Blue Jays are 0-4 in Romero’s last four efforts as an underdog