Blue Jays-Yankees Series Preview
The Yanks and Jays have at it for three in the Bronx. New York just lost two of three to Seattle and Toronto has won four straight against the Red Sox and Giants respectively. Here is a series preview.
After going 6-2 on the road in Colorado, Kansas City and Cleveland (make-up games from rain), the Yanks lost a typical trap series to Seattle. Joe Girardi's group should be better prepared for the American League East counterpart Blue Jays. Toronto plays the next 10 games against AL East teams (three in New York, three vs. Tampa Bay and four vs. Baltimore).
Player to watch: CC Sabathia. Sabathia gets the start on Sunday. His velocity, as everyone knows, is down this season. But CC has figured a few things out and is better at locating his pitches because he has to, especially the fastball on the outside and the changeup anywhere. Sabathia still gives the Yanks plenty of innings and will face a free-swinging Blue Jay lineup which should help him. Sabathia needs a really good start to get him back in the right direction again, like his April 7 and 12 starts against Detroit and Baltimore where the big lefty through 15 innings, struck out 13 and earned two wins.
Pitching match-ups: Friday: Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.19 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (5-2, 2.31 ERA). Saturday: Brandon Morrow (1-2, 4.69 ERA) vs. David Phelps (1-2, 4.33). Sunday: R.A. Dickey (3-5, 4.83 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.19 ERA).
Prediction: Yankees win two of three. New York has the pitching edge and the lineup edge. And even though Toronto is hot as of late, their defense is still bad and so is the bullpen. Don't expect two straight quality starts from Buehrle, Morrow or Dickey either, all of whom pitched well in their last outing. All three just aren't good enough right now for that.
By: Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.