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Series Preview: The Kids vs The Bombers

Fresh off a series win against the Rays, the Blue Jays will now begin a four-game series against the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees are coming into this series after slugging their way through Baltimore. As they hit a combined 16 home runs during their three-game series against the “Trash Birds”.

However, the Blue Jays’ lineup has also been crushing the baseball lately as well. The Blue Jays have hit at least one home run in 12 straight games. The Yankees’ pitching staff has given up the 2nd-most home runs in the AL since the all-star break. Which means the Blue Jays’ hitters will likely continue this power surge that they’ve been on since Bo Bichette arrived.

Thursday at 7:07 ET

Thomas Pannone(aka. Thomas Panini) was outstanding in his latest outing until he reached the fifth inning against the Orioles. Pannone held the Trash Birds hitless until the fifth, when he surrendered a pair of home runs totaling to four runs in the inning.

However, the 25-year-old recorded a career-high in strikeouts during his last outing. Pannone created nine strikeouts against the Orioles. But, Pannone will need to locate all his pitches effectively in this game against the Yankees. In order to be successful against the team who’s scored the most runs in the AL since the all-star break.

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Similar to Pannone, Domingo German was virtually unhittable in his latest start. Just a pair of home runs were the only flaws against German in his last start against the Red Sox. The 27-year-old went seven innings and allowed just those two runs on five hits.

While German has done a great job at creating strikeouts this season, he’s also struggled with keeping the ball in the yard at times as well. German has surrendered at least one home run in each of his last four starts, and has allowed multiple home runs in three of his last four.

Friday at 7:07 ET

Walks became an issue once again for Sean Reid-Foley in his latest start against the Orioles. The 23-year-old allowed four free passes to first base for the second-straight game. All of those walks forced Reid-Foley’s pitch count to 81 pitches after just the fourth inning.

Although, the Blue Jays are struggling as it is to find pitching depth within their starting rotation. So, they’ll have to continue to keep throwing Reid-Foley back out to the mound every fifth day. In hopes that he’ll be able to pitch more efficiently than he has been.

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Former Blue Jay, J.A. Happ has struggled mightily since his start against his former team back on July 13. In his four starts since, Happ has given up a total of six home runs and has pitched six innings or more just once. Happ has also failed to record many strikeouts in those starts as well.

The 36-year-old has created more than three strikeouts in just one of his last four starts. Which means the Blue Jays should have a very good chance at knocking Happ out of this game early. If they remain disciple at the plate and capitalize when Happ makes mistakes in the strike zone.

Saturday at 3:07 ET

Jacob Waguespack is certainly pitching like he never wants to go back to the minor-leagues. The 25-year-old recorded his best performance in the major leagues last time out against the Rays. Waguespack went six innings and held the Rays to just four hits and struck out four batters.

This recent performance from Waguespack makes it extremely interesting coming into this game. As he’ll now be tested against one of the best offenses in the entire league. Which should provide the Blue Jays with more clarity as to what they can expect from Waguespack during the rest of the season.

Masahiro Tanaka has been traumatized ever since his terrible outing in London back on June 29. Since that start, Tanaka has seen his ERA rise in each of his six starts. The 30-year-old is also coming off an awful start against the Trash Birds as well.

Tanaka pitched five and 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on ten hits. The worst part about Tanaka’s latest start was that eight of those ten hits allowed went for extra bases. Pitching during the sixth inning has also been Tanaka’s downfall this season. As he owns a 10.26 ERA and has given up eleven doubles, six home runs and a 1.210 OPP OPS through 16.2 innings pitched.

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Sunday at 1:07 ET

Trent Thronton completely blew up during the fourth inning of his latest outing against the Rays. The 25-year-old who nows pitches with contacts instead of glasses gave up six hits and three home runs before being chased from the game in the fourth inning.

If Thornton loses control of his pitches during this game against the Yankees. Then, he’ll very likely record similar results to his start against the Bronx Bombers back on June 26. Where he went just three and 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits along with a pair of home runs.

The Yankees haven’t officially named who they’ll start during the finale against the Blue Jays. But, it appears that they’ll decide to go with another bullpen day during this game. Since they opened with Jonathan Holder during this spot in the rotation last time, it likely means that the Yankees will choose to open with Chad Green this time.

During his nine starts this season, Green is pitching with a 2.13 ERA, 1.105 WHIP, 14.9 SO/9 and a .699 OPP OPS during 12.2 innings pitched. Following Green, the Yankees will likely send out Nestor Cortes Jr. to pitch the bulk part of the game. Cortes Jr. currently owns a 4.37 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 5.09 FIP, 8.5 SO/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 1.8 HR/9 through 45.1 innings pitched.