Toronto Blue Jays series preview: Home for rivalry week

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Apr 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) is congratulated after scoring during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays player to watch: Edwin Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion has already rounded the corner well into May, and if the Toronto Blue Jays hope to quiet the screaming doubters, his bat must lead the way from the heart of the lineup.  History is on his side, as well, with Encarnacion’s May of 2014 being one of the greatest months in Blue Jays history.

Encarnacion launched 16 home runs that month for a stunning 33 RBI’s, which was good for an OPS of 1.132.  Josh Donaldson is scorching hot while Jose Bautista looks to be turning the corner himself, so if Encarnacion can click, hopefully this club will find some consistency on offense.  Twelve run outbursts are fantastic, but consistent production of 5-to-6 runs will bring more success.

The necessity for Encarnacion to succeed also hinges on the possible regressions from Kevin Pillar or Devon Travis.  Travis is hotter than anyone in baseball right now, but it’s wishful thinking to believe that this pace will continue.  Balance across the roster will further aid in Toronto’s quest for consistency.

I like both R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle to rebound and play the veteran role for this rotation against the Yankees, giving the team a great chance to take two of three at home.  Marco Estrada will need to prove that he can pitch past the fourth and fifth innings, which I’ll happily believe when I see, but the club should be satisfied to pull within one game of .500 by Thursday.

Next: WATCH The Jays Nest Podcast: Ep. 17

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