Despite the oddities of yesterday’s wild loss against the Orioles, the Yankees emerged as series winners. The Yankees still managed to score 30 runs over three days, and it pushes their overall run differential to +43, the second best in baseball (the only way the Nationals could jump to the top was by scoring 23 runs yesterday).
By all accounts, everything is clicking. The Yankees are hitting .266/.349/.456 (121 OPS+) as a team, and they’re pitching to a 3.04 ERA (127 ERA+). In this series we’ll see Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia, by all accounts the three best pitchers on the squad. If there was a concern about pitching regression, it can probably wait a few days.
The Jays, by all accounts, are terrible. They’re hitting .228/.295/.350 (79 OPS+), and they’re pitching to a 4.14 ERA (100 ERA+). They have a -21 run differential, they’re currently 8-17 and last in the division, and they’re without Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. Add on the loss of Edwin Encarnacion from last year, and this is is a completely different club.
I’m not going to underestimate the Jays, because they could very well get healthy and make a later run. But they’re not healthy right now, and they’re missing their best player. The Jays do have two of their best pitchers going during this series—Marco Estrada in game one and Marcus Stroman in game three—with the old wild card in Mat Latos in game two. If I’m the Yankees, I’m looking to grab two of three against a largely diminished club at home. Who knows how they’ll be when the Yankees have to face them again a month from now.
The Yankees have won 14 of their last 18 games, and they have yet to add Gary Sanchez. Against a team so down and out like the Jays, this is a chance to pile on and carry the momentum from the weekend. Please, don’t be the team that wakes the sleeping giant.