Next up: Blue Jays begin final road trip of the regular season at Yankee Stadium
Photo credit:© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
We’re into the final two weeks of the regular season.
After going 6-4 over a rollercoaster ride 10-game homestand, the Blue Jays will hit the road one last time this week to visit Yankee Stadium and The Trop. They’ll return home next week to finish off the season with those same Yankees and Rays coming to the Rogers Centre.
A few days ago, it looked like the Blue Jays were going to be under a tremendous amount of pressure to win each of their four remaining series in order to make it into the playoffs. That all changed this weekend, as the Blue Jays jumped back into the second wild-card position following their sweep of the Red Sox and the three AL West teams going a combined 1-8.
Now Toronto is back in control of their own destiny. They’re a full game up on both the Rangers and Mariners and they’re only a half-game back of the Astros, who currently lead the AL West. Given how many times the Mariners, Rangers, and Astros play each other in the final two weeks, there’s more room for error for the Blue Jays than expected.
But that doesn’t mean the Blue Jays can just sit back and slide into the playoffs no matter what happens. The Yankees are seven games behind them in the standings right now and a lot can change over the course of six head-to-head games. Also, New York’s other six games will come against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Kansas City Royals while Toronto faces the Rays, who are fighting to win the AL East.
Taking care of business against the Yankees would help kill New York’s remaining playoff hope and it would take some pressure off of the Blue Jays when they face Tampa.
Yusei Kikuchi will take the mound for the Blue Jays in the series opener on Tuesday against Clarke Schmidt, New York’s first-round pick from the 2017 draft who has a 4.56 ERA across his first full season in the Majors. The 27-year-old righty took the loss in his only meeting against the Blue Jays this season back in April.
The second game of the series on Wednesday will see Kevin Gausman go up against Michael King, a swingman arm who the Yankees have used in a variety of different roles this season. King, who has a 2.77 ERA for the season, last faced the Blue Jays in 2021. Gausman, meanwhile, has dominated the Yankees this season, allowing just two earned runs in 14 innings of work while striking out 21 batters.
José Berríos will start the finale for the Blue Jays on Thursday while the Yankees will counter with ace Gerrit Cole. Berríos came through with a huge start for the Blue Jays in their first game against Boston that helped shift the tide following their sweep to Texas. He’ll need to be that good again, as Cole is currently the odds-on-favourite to win the AL Cy Young and he hasn’t allowed a run in two starts against the Blue Jays this year.
Recent articles from Cam Lewis