Tonights lineups have been posted:
Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 7, 2015
The hard-throwing Nathan Eovaldi gets the start for the New York Yankees. Among qualified starters, Eovaldi averages the highest velocity on his fastball at 96.3 mph. He will be up against R.A. Dickey, who averages the lowest average fastball velocity at 81.2 mph.
R.A. Dickey has been very effective since the start of June, posting a 3.12 ERA in his last 12 starts. New York has also had a tough time with Dickey in the past, as the knuckleballer has a 1.12 ERA in his last 6 starts against the Yankees. However, New York did get to face knuckleballer Steven Wright just two days ago, which could work to its advantage.
Dickey will face a lineup that figures to have just one right-handed hitter in Alex Rodriguez. This could present an interesting challenge, as Dickey has struggled against left-handed hitters this season to the tune of a 4.99 FIP. The Yankees also have a strong lineup against right-handed pitchers, with a 109 wRC+ vs RHP this reason. To be successful, Dickey will need to keep in the ball in the park, as the short-porch in right field can cause problems with a lineup full of left-handed hitters.
Nathan Eovaldi has generated a ton of ground balls this year and seems to be very good at limiting home runs. Left handed hitters are generally more successful against Eovaldi, which explains why Justin Smoak will play over Chris Colabello at first base. Despite the velocity, Eovaldi does not have eye-popping strike out numbers by any means. If the Blue Jays big right-handed bats hit Eovaldi's fastball the other way, Carlos Beltran is not a very strong fielder in right field.
Getting to Eovaldi early could be extremely important, as it is very tough to comeback against the Yankees bullpen. Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances both pitched yesterday, though it seems both should be available for tonights game.
Toronto seems to have a very favourable pitching matchup for tomorrows game, so if the Blue Jays can take game 1 the Yankees will be in great danger of losing this series. Let's hope the Blue Jays bats can stay hot and provide Dickey will plenty of run support tonight. If Edwin Encarnacion continues his big week, look out.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Photo of Blue Jays heading to New York. <a href="http://t.co/AvVQRfdid5">pic.twitter.com/AvVQRfdid5</a></p>— Gruber's Mullet (@GrubersMullet) <a href="https://twitter.com/GrubersMullet/status/629483759491018752">August 7, 2015</a></blockquote>
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