The Toronto Blue Jays host the New York Yankees for three of 19 total games between the AL East Division rivals this season.
It can be difficult to call two baseball teams who do not play crucial, memorable games in front of hostile fans in electric ball parks, rivals.
Any concern for the well-being of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees rivalry was put to rest after the All-Star break last season. From the Blue Jays’ side of things, it may have been better than ever.
The Blue Jays beat up on the fragile Yankees during their road to the postseason last year, going 9-4 after the trade deadline and 13-6 overall. After losing 17 straight games at Yankee Stadium between 2012 and 2014, the Jays found their mojo in the Bronx, winning seven straight at one point last year and outscoring them 46-21 in that stretch.
Toronto is the team to beat in the AL East and will have a target on their back all season, especially from the Yankees. On July 28, 2015, New York had a comfortable seven-game lead atop the division, only to watch helplessly as an unstoppable Blue Jays team clawed all the way back to finish the season six games ahead.
After 162 games, the Yankees were left with a one-game wildcard playoff against the Houston Astros, in which they lost at home, 3-0. So the Yankees spent the next three weeks watching the Blue Jays play some pretty darn entertaining playoff baseball.
After years of trying to keep pace with the star-studded Yankees lineup, the roles have been reversed dramatically. The New York Yankees are the underdog, itching for a taste of revenge against a team that fuelled their epic collapse just a short while ago. The Toronto Blue Jays are anxiously waiting to show them that last year was only the beginning of their reign as kings of the American League East Division.
The rivalry is back.
Here is how the series breaks down.
Next: Across the Diamond: A look at the 2016 Yankees