Blue Jays face White Sox as playoff race intensifies

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Jul 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) and Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (29) celebrate scoring runs with Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) during the second inning in a game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays head to Chicago on Monday to kick off a four game set against the White Sox. After the win on Sunday put the Blue Jays back within two games of the New York Yankees in the AL East at 43-41, the club looks to close the gap in the final week before the All Star Break.

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Chicago has endured a season of struggle thus far, already sitting 10 games back of the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central with a 36-43 record. While a series loss against the Blue Jays would surely fuel the fire, there is already widespread speculation that the Sox will be sellers at the upcoming trade deadline on July 31st. Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzijawho Shaun Doyle profiled earlier this week for Jays Journal, has already been linked to Toronto.

Samardzija will close out the series for Chicago on Thursday against R.A. Dickey, and will be preceded by John Danks, Jose Quintana and the immensely talented Chris Sale. The Jays will also counter with Mark Buehrle, Drew Hutchison and, in all likelihood, Felix Doubront making his starting debut.

At the beginning of every July series, there is a growing possibility that Toronto leaves the city with a  different roster than they entered with. The logjam of teams around the league who are still within several games of playoff contention seems to be delaying any early moves, but Anthopoulos will be busy working the phone lines. Before we break down the pitching matchups, it’s time to take a look across the diamond at the White Sox bats.

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