The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays got their two-game series underway yesterday, and it resulted in what was a beatdown by the Yankees. The Yankees and Blue Jays may be in the same division, but they are not in the same class. The Red Sox and Yankees are in complete control of the American League East, while everyone else plays second-fiddle. It’s only June and we pretty much have a clear picture of what it’s going to be like in September. The only question is whether it’s going to be the Red Sox or Yankees atop of the AL East. There isn’t much time to sit back and relax, because in the blink of an eye, the Red Sox or Yankees may pull away.
The Jays started the year off relatively well. They were playing above the .500 mark, but I think that wasn’t really reflective of this club. Toronto is not an average team, they’re worse than that. Don’t expect some miraculous comeback by the Jays in 2018. As of today, they are falling behind, with a record of 26-34 and 15.5 games behind the Red Sox at 1st. The Yankees trail the Red Sox by a game at the moment, but the Sox have played four more games. It looks highly likely that whoever doesn’t win the division will have a seat in the postseason as a wildcard.
Toronto are left with a decision to make on Josh Donaldson. They could fetch some prospects in exchange for Donaldson, which doesn’t sound like a bad idea at this point. They are not going to win anything with or without him, so might as well get something out of him. The Jays could have gotten more around the same time Encarnacion went to Cleveland. That was when the team was unfolding and an era was over, but they wanted to at least keep one bat around. Donald is hitting just .234 with 5 deep balls. The Jays need help offensively, but they’re going to have to concede that it may get worse before it gets better. Head below for our free Yankees vs. Blue Jays pick on Wednesday at Rogers Centre.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
Sonny Gray (4-4, 5.50 ERA) vs. Sam Gaviglio (2-1, 3.32 ERA)
Sonny Gray will get the nod for the Yankees in Game 2 at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday. It hasn’t been much of a honeymoon between Gray and the Yanks. Gray was acquired in what was a big move to bolster their rotation for a run in the postseason. He didn’t help, rather falling flat on his face and being a liability for the Bronx Bombers. The Yanks are hoping that this is the year he gets comfortable with his new team. There is without a doubt more pressure on him here than in Oakland, that’s a given. The Athletics weren’t going anywhere, and then he immediately comes here with people expecting him to be the final piece of the puzzle.
Gray enters with an ERA of 5.50, so undoubtedly it could be better for him. However, there have been indications that he can turn it around. In four of his last six starts, he’s allowed 2 or less runs. His ERA in the last three games is 3.57 with a 1.08 WHIP. In two of those three, he gave up only 1 run, so the 5 runs he gave up against the Angels at home skewed the numbers up.
At home is they key, as he has been getting bullied at home, with a 7.22 ERA. This isn’t Oakland where he was the beneficiary of pitching in a friendly park. Yankee Stadium is one of the least friendliest parks to pitchers with the short porch. Some people like to call it a wiffle ball park for a reason. Gray has been much better on the road, posting an ERA of 3.67. Toronto is hitting just .222 against Gray, with only 2 home runs in 144 at-bats. The Yanks are 1st in the majors with 5.68 runs scored per game, so he does get some help from the offense. It’s hard not to like this Yankees team to pick up another win over the wavering Blue Jays on Wednesday.