The Blue Jays just got the piss kicked out of them by the Oakland Athletics last weekend making this May series with the seemingly-wild-card-bound Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim even more important. Toronto has to finish ahead of Anaheim to make the playoffs this year and this terrible stretch in May has put them in an ugly position to do so. That said, beating the team you’re directly in competition with could quickly remedy some of the angst associated with losing four home games to fucking Oakland.
Tuesday at 7:07 ET
J.A. Happ is coming off his best start of the season in which he dominated the Mets over seven, two-hit shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. Happ is now striking out a ridiculous 11.4 guys per nine innings. He’ll be opposed by Garret Richards who appears to be back to normal after a couple of injury-riddled seasons. Through nine starts, Richards has a 3.47 ERA, though his high walk rate is somewhat alarming.
Wednesday at 7:07 ET
Another bandaid that’s key to Anaheim’s success is Tyler Skaggs. Through nine starts, Skaggs owns a 2.88 ERA, which is the best we’ve seen from him in his career. He’ll go against Aaron Sanchez who’s hit a bit of a rough patch as of late. Over his last three starts, Sanchez has made it out of the fifth inning just once.
Thursday at 12:37 ET
The finale will be a fucking Thursday afternoon Facebook game between Nick Tropeano and Marco Estrada. Tropeano is underwhelming, as he walks 4.2 guys per nine and only strikes out 7.2 guys per nine, and he’s coming off a rough start against Tampa Bay. Estrada has also had a rough season, though he did look quite good in his last outing against Oakland. Unfortunately it all came unhinged in the seventh inning when the A’s clubbed back-to-back-to-back doubles.
We won’t get to see Shoehi Ohtani as a pitcher this week which is a good/bad thing. Like, it’s good for the Jays, because he’s good, but it’s bad for fans, because he’s good. Still, we’ll get to see him line up as a designated hitter, which will be cool.
Like I said at the beginning, the Angels are a key team for Toronto to beat because, realistically, one of the Yankees or Red Sox will win the AL East while the other will be the first wild card team. That leaves one playoff spot open for Toronto and they’re directly competing with the Angels, among others, to earn it. After this horrendous stretch in May the Jays have to make up ground by beating these teams like the Angels they’re directly in competition with.