Riding high following a four-game sweep of Oakland, the New York Yankees return home for a series against Toronto with a chance to eclipse the .500 mark for the first time since April 13th.
Despite facing a trio of one-win pitchers and a not-so-sunny version of Sonny Gray, New York’s offense still displayed promise, posting four or more runs in each game played.
With a chance to leap back in the early AL East race, the Yanks will face slightly tougher tasks on the mound.
In the lone matchup against a knuckleballer this season, New York tallied just three hits in Steven Wright’s complete game effort for Boston. While it may be an unfair comparison to Toronto’s R.A. Dickey, given that Wright’s owns a top 30 PWARP and Dickey barely cracks the top 200, the Yankees were baffled by the knuckleball earlier this month.
Despite Dickey’s struggles this year, he has actually fared much better on the road. The 41-year-old boasts a 3.04 ERA (3.40 FIP) in games away from home. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Eovaldi has also performed better on the road. In his home difficulties, Nate has been quite unlucky, holding a .348 BABIP at Yankee Stadium.
Marco Estrada seems to improve every year, 2016 being no exception. Estrada displays a four-pitch arsenal, topping out around 90 MPH, but his command has yielded a solid 2.60 ERA (3.24 FIP). The current Yankees have his number, however, collectively slashing .295/.348/.554 against the seasoned righty.
Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild have been easing Ivan Nova into the rotation of late. Nova tossed six innings in his last start on just 62 pitches, but continued to impress. He’s given up just three runs in his last three starts, solidifying a role for himself as a starter. Toronto likely poses as his toughest starting task of the year to this point.
Contrary to Estrada, Aaron Sanchez is a hard-throwing pitcher. He generally works off of three pitches, ranging from 78 mph to 95 mph. Command has been an issue throughout his career, but the young righty has held opposing batters to just a .231 AVG in 2016, boasting a 3.20 ERA (3.30 FIP).
This matchup will mark CC’s second start off the 15-Day DL. In his first, the veteran lefty tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run, eight strikeout ball. With a slew of righty, power-heavy bats in the Blue Jays lineup, this matchup will pose much more of a challenge for Sabathia than his Friday start against Oakland.
Jose Bautista has been on fire after getting drilled in the face by Rougned Odor’s right fist. Joey Bats dragged a .217 BA into that game with just six home runs up to that point. In the seven games to follow, Bautista has awoken, hitting .304 with four homers.
UPDATE 5:00 P.M.
Sanchez has been pushed back to the Boston series to gain an extra day of rest. Happ will starts series finale vs NYY. #BlueJays
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) May 24, 2016
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the move was made to give Sanchez extra rest and that he’s healthy.
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