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Friday Bantering: Jays/Yankees series preview

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We start a four game series with the Yankees today. The Wild Card race is pretty complicated at the moment:

The long and the short of it is, we need to win. If we win it doesn’t matter about the other teams. If we don’t win it become complicated.

The Yankees really need a series win to stay in the race.

Tonight’s starters:

Brian Mitchell vs Francisco Liriano

Mitchell has made 3 starts this season, 6.00 ERA in 12 innings. Batters hit .346/.382/.538 against him.

Francisco Liriano has a 3.89 ERA in 8 games, 6 starts for us. This month batters have hit .218/.259/.473 against him this month.

Saturday:

CC Sabathia vs Marcus Stroman

Sabathia has a 4.19 ERA this season in 28 starts. Batters have hit 279/.333/.500 against him this month.

Stroman has a 4.50 ERA this season in 30 starts. He’s 10 innings away from 200, a number I wouldn’t have guessed he would get to this year. Batters have hit .256/.323/.422 against him this month.

Sunday:

Michael Pineda vs Marco Estrada

Pineda has a 4.89 ERA this season in 30 starts. Batters are hitting .257/.333/.429 against him this month.

Estrada has a 3.62 ERA this season in 27 starts. Batters are hitting .240/.333/.307 this month. He’s coming off a terrific start.

Monday:

Maybe Luis Severino vs J.A. Happ

The Yankees haven’t said who is replacing Tanaka for this start, but I’m thinking it will be Severino. He has a 5.70 ERA this season in 20 games, 9 starts. He’s been much better of late, pitching out of the bullpen. Batters have hit .140/.246/.220 against him in 15 relief innings.

Happ has a 3.28 ERA in 30 starts. Batters have hit .260/.324/.450 against him this month. We have scored 25 runs in his four starts this month.

I get the feeling the series might come down to how we pitch Gary Sanchez. He's had an pretty amazing week, 5 home runs in 5 games and a .444/.565/1.278 batting line.

A series win would go a long way to making me feel comfortable about the last week of the season.


John Lott writes that the Jays are a mediocre team that is only in the race because of a hot stretch just before the All-Star break.

I’m not a big an of ignoring the good games to decide a team is bad, but the team hasn’t been what you and I hoped they would be. Teams tend not to be as good as they look when they win nor as bad as the look when they lose.

If you would have told me, at the start of the season, that our offense would just be average (or slightly better than average) I wouldn't have believed you. No way could Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Tulowitzki, Travis and Martin add up to average.

I also wouldn't have believed that our starting rotation would be one of the best in majors. I thought, all things going well, our starting pitching would be average and, with the offense I expected, that would be enough.

Baseball keeps reminding me that I don't know anything about baseball.

Big news....this likely deserves it's own threadbut I'll put it here, the Jays and Dunedin appear to be coming to an agreement on expanding their spring training facilities in Dunedin.

Preliminary plans show the team's stadium and training facility locations will stay the same, but the city and team will partner with the county and state to do about $81 million in renovations and rebuilds. And in exchange for the high-dollar project, the team would agree to spend another 25 years in the city.

It sounds like the Jays will still have the split set up, with the Major and Minor league facilities being a few minute drive apart from each other.