That’s more like it. After yesterday’s win in Kansas City, the Yankees are owners of three straight series sweeps, and a nine-game winning streak. That’s some nice wind in the Yankees’ sails as they head north of the border for the first time this season. And that can’t hurt, because a road series against the Jays is unlikely to be a walk in the park. At 15-8, Toronto is close behind the 16-6 Yankees at the top of the AL East as the calendar has turned to May.
It’s Monty Monday for the Yankees. Hard-luck lefty Jordan Montgomery gets the ball for the series opener. In four starts so far this season, Montgomery has pitched to a 2.70 ERA over 20 innings. One reason for his success thus far is that he has excelled at limiting hard contact. His barrel and hard-hit rates sit in the 85th and 84th percentiles, respectively. Against a Blue Jays lineup that includes exit velocity savants Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, limiting hard contact seems like a recipe for success.
For the Jays, Ross Stripling gets the start. The 32-year-old right-hander features a four-pitch mix, with a fastball that he throws 44 percent of the time in 2022, along with a slider, changeup, and curveball. In the early going, Stripling has thrown 15 innings to the tune of a 3.60 ERA. For his career, he is 0-4 against the Yankees, with a 4.50 ERA in 20 innings pitched.
It would be great if the Yankee lineup could deliver some run support to Monty. Rumor has it that when Shakespeare wrote “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” in King Richard III, he was inspired by poor Monty’s complete lack of run support whenever he starts.
Thanks in no small part to some offensive outbursts during their winning streak, the Yankees are now averaging just under five runs per game, so maybe today is the day they shower Montgomery with runs. Perhaps leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu can be a catalyst today. He’s looked exponentially better now that he’s healthy, and with 18 at-bats against Stripling he has the most familiarity with the Jays starter. Joey Gallo will remain on the bench as he nurses his mild groin injury.
The Yankees have recently beat up on teams that they should, and as a result, they’re headed into Toronto with the best record in baseball, half a game ahead of the cross-town Mets. Now, the Bombers can make a serious statement in the young season by shoving the Blue Jays around. Let’s do this.
How to watch
Location: Rogers Center — Toronto, ON
First pitch: 7:07 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / SNET-1 – TOR
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 / SN590
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Monty Monday up north. #RepBX pic.twitter.com/y6F29CLaUd— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 2, 2022
An AL East battle begins tonight! #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/LuAWBjVq28— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 2, 2022