The Yankees took another one off the Blue Jays last night, as they edged Toronto out for a 3-2 win at the Rogers Centre. The Jays have been unable to find much of a rhythm early in the season. After a 2-0 start, the Blue Jays have won just 1 game since then. They enter tonight with a 3-5 record. This is an important divisional matchup early in the season for both teams. The AL East figures to be a competitive division this season. The way I see it there is no clear-cut number 1. The Baltimore Orioles have jumped out early ahead of the pack, as they dumped the Red Sox yet again yesterday to put up a perfect record in the young season. I don’t expect the Orioles to run away with the division at all. Wait for the summer and you’ll see the lead change hands quite frequently. It’s going to make for one interesting finish in the AL East. The Blue Jays have some work to do if they want to repeat as champions of the division.
For the Yanks, they need to have a clean year from Tanaka. He needs to produce and stay healthy. It sounds simple, but a lot is riding on his arm. Tanaka got the best of the Blue Jays last night, as their potent offense could only manage to hit Tanaka for 2 runs and 3 hits. Another guy in the Yankees’ rotation who has been a victim of the injury bug is Michael Pineda.
I loved Pineda in Seattle. I thought he was going to be the next big arm in the majors. However, injuries have taken their toll on him. The Mariners didn’t wait around for him to find his heath and sent him packing to the Yankees. Pineda will get the call tonight against lefty J.A. Happ. Both pitchers will making their second starts of the season. Off to a hot 8-1-1 start, let’s try and build on that and pick up another winning pick Wednesday night.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Michael Pineda (1-0, 10.80 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.00)
Despite pitching poorly in his first start of the season, Pineda already has a victory on the year. Don’t bet on him continuing to pitch like that and winning ball games. Pineda was touched up for 6 runs and an ERA of 10.80 against the Houston Astros. He couldn’t keep runners off the bases, as his 1.60 WHIP and .375 OBA indications. After a brief, yet promising appearance for the Yankees in 13 games, which saw him pitch for a 1.89 ERA, Pineda took his lumps in 2014. Taking part in 27 starts he posted a 4.37 ERA. And it hasn’t been a very promising start for him here in 2016.
Pineda is one of those pitchers you have to look out for, his arm could blow up at any moment and he’s back to the DL. Happ gets the call for the Blue Jays tonight, where he hopes to feast off a lineup that has struggled against left-handers. Despite having a .316 batting average against righties, the Yankees have a .184 average against left-handers. The Blue Jays needed to find a lefty in the offseason and settled on Happ. Jays’ fans haven’t had much to cheer for at home, as they have gone 1-3 at the Rogers Centre to begin the year. I think they find a win tonight and bring that mark to 2-3. I’m confident in Pineda, his arm is a ticking time bomb just like Tanaka. This looks like a nice opportunity for the Jays’ bats to come out and play. I’ll be on the Blue Jays.
PICK: BLUE JAYS TO WIN -114