Series Preview: New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays (6/4-6/6)

The Yankees head to Toronto for their first meeting of 2019 with the Blue Jays. New York is looking to win their 10th consecutive series while Toronto attempts to right the ship after losing six straight and 10 of their last 11. The Yanks are currently 18-5 against division opponents so they will look to keep that success going.
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Game One, Tuesday, June 4, 7:07 PM EST 
Masahiro Tanaka (3-4, 3.20 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (0-1, 3.38 ERA) 
Masahiro Tanaka will get this series started for the Yanks, taking the ball in game one. Tanaka is coming off a start in which he allowed five runs (four earned) in six innings against the Padres and took the loss. Overall, he’s had a solid season, pitching to a 3.20 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 70.1 innings while striking out 8.3 batters per nine innings. The Blue Jays look to be a good matchup for Tanaka, as players currently on the roster have combined to hit .183 with just one home run in 60 at-bats in their careers against Tanaka.

Clayton Richard will go for the Blue Jays. He has only started two games this season after missing time due to an injury. In those two starts Richard has gone four innings in each, allowing a total of three earned runs. DJ LeMahieu is a player to watch against Richard.  In 20 career at-bats, LeMahieu is hitting .350 with just one strikeout.

Game Two, Wednesday, June 5, 7:07 PM EST 
James Paxton (3-2, 2.81 ERA) vs. Trent Thornton (1-4, 4.53 ERA) 
This will be Paxton’s second start since returning from the injured list and “Big Maple’s” first start in Canada as a member of the Yankees. In his first start back, Paxton gave the Yankees four no-hit innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Paxton actually threw a no-hitter last season as a member of the Seattle Mariners in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The Blue Jay hitter who Paxton has seen the most in his career is Justin Smoak, who only has seven at-bats and one hit against Paxton.

In game two the Blue Jays will give the ball to rookie right-hander Trent Thornton. He has thrown 59.2 innings while pitching to a 4.53 ERA and striking out 9.8 per nine innings. This will be the first time the Yankees see Thornton who allowed three runs over 4.2 innings in his last start against the Rays.
Photo Credit: gettyimages/ Alex Trautwig
Game ThreeThursday, June 6, 7:07 PM EST 
J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.83 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (0-3, 13.22 ERA) 
Happ takes the mound in game three against the team who traded him to New York last season.  He gave the Yankees five innings, allowing just one run in his last start against Boston. He will look to carry over some of the success he had last game because he has not had a great year to date, pitching to a 4.83 ERA on the season. Happ has faced Toronto hitters a total of 28 times in his career, allowing seven hits and just one home run while striking out nine.

Edwin Jackson is coming off a horrible start in which he allowed 10 earned runs in just 2.1 innings against the Rockies. In his two starts before that, Jackson allowed seven and five earned runs respectively. He has had a rough season overall, getting through only 16 innings in four starts. If the Bombers can get to Jackson like most other teams have, they should have a good chance to win this game.

This series will also be New York’s first look at rookie phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who comes in batting .248 with six homers in 117 at-bats.  The two teams are trending in opposite directions right now, so the Yankees will look to continue those trends and win another series.

Article by: Mark Ciano


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