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Game 112 Preview: Blue Jays @ Yankees

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Some guy named David Price starts for the Blue Jays for today's game against the New York Yankees. He will be up against Ivan Nova, who is making just his eighth start of the season.

The Lineups:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="">#BlueJays</a> vs <a href="">#Yankees</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) <a href="">August 8, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="">@IvanNova47</a> looks to stay hot as the <a href="">#Yankees</a> take on the Jays at The Stadium. <a href=""></a> <a href="">#SuperNova</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; New York Yankees (@Yankees) <a href="">August 8, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Yankees have the 3rd best offence in baseball against left-handed pitching this season. Brett Gardner, who usually absolutely rakes against the Blue Jays, will get the day off. Six of the Yankees starters figure to hit right-handed, which should help avoid the short porch in right field. 

The Yankees seem to have a weak bottom of the order today, as both Didi Gregorius and Brendan Ryan are light-hitting middle infielders. In addition to Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann will have to face Price from the left-side of the plate.

David Price, who is having another terrific season, pitched extremely well in his first start as a Blue Jay last Monday. In eight innings against the Twins. he allowed just 3 hits and one earned run. He has pitched at least five innings in 21 of his 22 starts this season. However, Price's worst game of the year came in his only start against the Yankees back on April 22nd. He was unable to make it out of the 3rd inning, giving up 10 hits and 8 earned runs in the process. 

Ivan Nova posted very strong numbers in 2013, but injuries seem to have made a major impact on his career. For many fans, the 3.10 ERA he has in seven starts this season looks extremely impressive. However, the ERA estimator SIERA seems to believe that Nova has been extremely lucky. A 4.51 SIERA suggests he could be extremely hittable going forward. 

In particular, Nova has struggled mightily against left-handed hitters this season. When a left-handed hitter is at the plate, Nova has more walks against strikeouts, which is never a recipe for success. Justin Smoak, Ryan Goins and Ben Revere will be the Blue Jays left-handed hitters in today's game.

Bullpen Usage:

LaTroy Hawkins, Brett Cecil, and Roberto Osuna all pitched one inning in yesterday's game. None of these pitchers pitched two days ago, so all should be available if the need arises. Bo Schultz was the only reliever to pitch on Thursday, and threw two scoreless innings against the Twins. David Price is usually able to pitch effectively deep into games, but the Blue Jays should have eight relievers available if the need arises.

The Yankees two shutdown relievers, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, have both pitched on back-to-back days. Andrew Miller only threw six pitches last night, so maybe it is not completely out of the question for Joe Girardi to pitch him in back-to-back-to-back games. Betances throws a ton of innings for a reliever, but has yet to pitch on three straight days this year. Finally, Justin Wilson has also pitched on back-to-back days. The Blue Jays are clearly not up against a well-rested bullpen.

Blue Jays Look To Make It 10 of 11

With a win, the Blue Jays would have its 10th win in 11 games, but more importantly would win the series against the New York Yankees. After coming off a huge win last night, a solid start from David Price could help set up a chance to sweep the series tomorrow. I think I speak for everyone when I say: Watching meaningful baseball in August is awesome.