The 22-24 Blue Jays are coming off a 3-1 series win over the Minnesota Twins
It wasn’t the prettiest week of baseball for the Blue Jays, but heading into New York winning three of the last four has to has to create a certain amount of momentum. Mind you, it was against the hopeless Twins, but nonetheless, all wins look the same in the win category and they have to use the three they got this weekend as a positive moving forward.
The Yankees were sputtering through the first portion of the season until they got the Athletics for a four game series. They swept the A’s this past weekend and have won five in a row, moving their record to a more palatable 21-22 for the year.
Much has been made about the Yankees lacklustre offence so far this year, and that hasn’t changed to a large degree during their winning streak. Over the past seven days, their wRC+ is sitting at 97, only seven points higher than their season long number of 90. It’s an improvement, but not one that will lead to a large increase in a team’s chances of winning games.
It’s been their pitching staff that has led to a change in their play. Over that same time period, the Yankees staff has put up a 3.57 ERA, 2.81 FIP in 60.1 IP. Their 9.30 K/9 and 1.77 BB/9 are elite, and they’ve been able to stifle opposing offences.
Their rotation has dramatically improved during this time, which is huge because their bullpen is ridiculously dominant. With Aroldis Chapman back in the fold, their trio of Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Chapman is simply unfair.
The Jays will need to get to the Yankees starters early in games and not allow them to hold leads going into the late innings. The Yankees won’t score a bunch of runs, but their decent staff and strong bullpen allows them to win a lot of one run ball games. Jumping out to a quick lead against them is the best way to give yourself the highest chances of winning.
Getting out a quick lead is important against every team, but more so against a team where their strength lies in holding leads as opposed to overcoming deficits. If the Jays offence can only manage 2-3 runs against the Yankees starters, they will have a tough time winning close games against the Yankees pen.
First, we take a look across the diamond at the New York Yankees’ offence:
Next: A look across the diamond: The Bronx Bombers?