Pre-Series Notes: Jays look to slowdown the red hot Yankees, Judge eyes Yankees homerun record

Photo credit:Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Ony
1 year ago
MLB playoffs are just around the corner and the Blue Jays begin their final homestand of the regular season tonight. They return home with a record of 86-67 after going 3-3 in Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
Toronto still holds the top wild card spot by two games over the Rays and 2.5 over the Mariners.
Most of the second half of the season has been disappointing for the Yankees but they are heating up at the right time. They have won seven in a row and extended their lead in the American League East to 8.5 games.
All eyes will be on Aaron Judge as he looks to break Roger Maris’ Yankee record of 61 home runs. Stuck on 60, Judge has been homerless for the last five games.
The Yankees lead the season series over the Blue Jays 9-7. These will be the final three games between them until a potential meeting in the divisional round.

Things Worth Mentioning…

The Jays are still without Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Santiago Espinal.
Gurriel has been out since September 9th with a hamstring strain. Espinal has been out since the 22nd with an oblique strain.
Maple Leafs’ sniper Auston Matthews will throw out the first pitch at tonight’s game.
Matthews set the goal record for the Toronto Maple Leafs with 60 last season.
Roger Maris tied Babe Ruth’s home run record on this day 61 years ago.
The stars seem to be aligning for Judge to tie Maris tonight.  It would be pretty cool for him to hit number 61 exactly 61 years after Maris tied Ruth.

The head-to-head…

Kevin Gausman vs. Luis Severino
Gausman looks to be back on track after his last start versus the Phillies. He pitched six shutout innings and struck out eight in the no-decision. It was a necessary bounce back for Gausman as he matched his season high of five runs in two consecutive starts prior.
In two starts against the Yankees this season he is 1-1 with a 1.48 ERA and 16 strikeouts.
Severino has been lights out this season with an ERA of 3.36 in 17 starts. His main issue has been staying healthy. He has pitched just 91 innings in 2022.
The big righty has struggled against the Jays with a 5.07 ERA in three outings. Unfortunately the Jays won only one of these games.
Jose Berrios vs. Jameson Taillon
This season has been a disaster for Berrios. He has plenty of solid starts but for every good one, there is another where he has absolutely no command. His last start against the Rays was one of his shortest of the season. He was pulled after two innings and six earned runs.
His ERA is up to a whopping 5.37.
This will be his fourth start against the Yankees this year. In the previous three he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA.
Taillon is having his best year since 2018 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His 164 innings is second only to Gerrit Cole in the Yankees rotation and his 2.1 WAR according to FanGraphs is third.
He has made five starts against the Jays in 2022. He is 3-2 with a sparkling 2.67 ERA.
TBD vs. Gerrit Cole
The Jays have struggled to find a reliable fifth starter all season. They have yet to announce who will pitch in game three.
Gerrit Cole has had a bit of a down year for his standards, but he is still a legitimate top of the rotation talent. In 31 starts he is 12-7 with an ERA of 3.49 and 244 strikeouts.
He is winless in two starts against Toronto this year. His ERA in those outings is 5.32.

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