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New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Series Preview

Can the Yankees pick up another series win as the Blue Jays come to town?

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Yankees wrapped up another series victory as they beat the Angels to take two of three. As of now, the only series they haven’t won was the Twins’ matchup, which finished in a 2-2 split. However, this weekend should provide a tough test of keeping that streak alive, as the Yankees welcome the Blue Jays to the Bronx.

Toronto comes into this weekend’s series with a 11-8 record. That’s currently fourth in a crowded AL East, but don’t be fooled by that. They feature a potentially very dangerous lineup.

Before things get going tonight, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups we’ll see over the next couple days.

Friday: Domingo Germán vs. Yusei Kikuchi (7:05 pm ET)

Germán put in his best start of the season his most recent appearance. He struck out 11 and took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Twins, albeit with a minor controversy. This is set to be his first appearance against the Jays since May 2021, when he gave up two runs in 5.2 innings. For his career, he’s been decent against Toronto, with a 3.72 ERA in nearly 30 innings.

He hasn’t been tagged with a loss yet, but Kikuchi’s start to 2023 has been so-so. His first and third starts saw him allow just one run in five and six innings respectively. However, in the middle of that sandwich was him giving up six runs to the Angels in a wild game. Kikuchi did a fairly decent job of holding the Yankees in check last year, but he did allow a home run to Aaron Hicks, and you can’t be doing that.

Saturday: Gerrit Cole vs. Alek Manoah (1:05 pm ET)

Cole has been absolutely on fire to start the 2023 season, and the highlight so far was his last start. Against the Twins last Sunday, he threw a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits in a game that goes on the shortlist of his best performances as a Yankee. You could make an argument that Toronto will be the toughest test he’s faced on the year so far, but not much has phased him so far in 2023.

Last year’s third place finisher in AL Cy Young voting will complete a very intriguing pitching matchup. However, Manoah hasn’t matched Cole’s dominance in this season. He’ll come into this game with an ERA just under seven, having been tagged for seven runs by the Rays in his last start. That being said, he’s been very good for his career against the Yankees ever since shutting them out over six innings in his MLB debut in Yankee Stadium back in 2021.

Sunday: Clarke Schmidt vs. Kevin Gausman (1:35 pm ET)

The Yankees will probably have to rely on him for at least a couple more starts, but Schmidt in the rotation hasn’t been great so far this year. He has yet to make it past the fourth inning and has given up at least three earned runs in all of his appearances so far. Schmidt does have a 0.00 ERA for his career against Toronto — that being said, that’s only 2.2 innings, none of which have been as a starter.

Gausman’s first three starts of the year were pretty solid, including an eight-inning, 11-strikeout effort against the Tigers. On the other hand, the Astros got him for eight runs (seven earned) in 4.2 innings the last time he took the mound. Gasuman returned to the AL East as a free agent signing before last year, and mostly held the Yankees in check in his starts against them in 2022.