Toronto Blue Jays: Opposing Players To Be Wary Of This Week
The Toronto Blue Jays head into the final week of the regular season with their playoff hopes on the line.
They’ll host the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles and will need to be aware of some dangerous players on those rosters in order to secure a Wild Card berth.
The Toronto Blue Jays head into the final week of the regular season with their playoff hopes on the line. Here are some hitters Jays pitchers will need to be careful with this week.
Brett Gardner, OF Yankees
He may not be the player he once was, but Gardner seems to always bring his A-game when facing Toronto. “Gardy” was one of the only productive Yankees (4/13, HR) in the Jays four-game sweep in the Bronx earlier this month. Gardner has more home runs versus the Blue Jays (24) than any other opponent.
Gary Sanchez/Kyle Higashioka, C Yankees
Sanchez has developed into a polarizing player and personality, and one Jays fans love to hate. He’s hit six homers with an OPS+ of 159 in 13 games against them this season. Higashioka is sure to see some playing time in the upcoming series. He has five of his career home runs against the Blue Jays, including three in a game in 2020.
Giancarlo Stanton, DH/OF Yankees
Although his Yankees tenure has been marred by injuries, Stanton has fared well when facing Jays’ pitching. He owns an OPS of .977 with 15 HRs in 45 career games. However, he’s just .195 with one homer in 47 at-bats against the Jays in 2021. That said, he’s coming off a three-game series with the Red Sox that saw him hit home runs in each game.
Cedric Mullins, OF Orioles
Mullins has raked versus the Bluebirds all season. He’s got his highest totals for homers (7) and RBI (13) against them. Mullins, who recently became the latest member of the 30/30 club, is a big threat on the base paths.
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/DH, Orioles
Although he made his MLB debut last season, Mountcastle has busted out this year as an AL Rookie of the Year candidate with a team-rookie-record 31 home runs. He’s done his fair share of the damage facing Pete Walker’s crew with seven bombs. He did well in limited at-bats in 2020 too and has nine homers in 85 career at-bats vs. Toronto with an OPS of 1.115.
Austin Hays, OF Orioles
Hays has also enjoyed something of a breakout this season and was performed well against AL East rivals. He’s hit .290 with two homers and nine RBI in 65 at-bats. It’s interesting to note that Hays has more games played at Sahlen Field than Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays have done well so far against both of these teams, 10-6 vs. New York and 11-5 vs. Baltimore. Holding these guys in check, along with sluggers like Aaron Judge and Trey Mancini, will go a long way towards continued success and securing a Wild Card spot.