The institution of constant interleague play has created some fascinating scheduling situations, none stranger than the Toronto Blue Jays’ this week.
On Wednesday, the Blue Jays wrap up a three-game set against the NL West “foe” San Francisco Giants, only to return home to play the AL West “rival” Texas Rangers. While the scheduling is peculiar, every game in the season is weighted equally and the Blue Jays will need to steal these non-divisional games if they want to creep back into the American League playoff picture.
Wednesday’s series finale is an excellent match-up of reinvented older starters.
The Blue Jays will send R.A. Dickey to the hill. Dickey has been inconsistent, at best, but a return to a National League ballpark could help him to settle into to a rhythm. As his former home at Citi Field and his new home at the Rogers Centre are both actually home run-friendly parks, Dickey may settle down in the spacious ballpark in San Francisco.
Though the Giants have hit surprisingly well thus far in 2013, Dickey has a chance to change his season for the better in a familiar setting.
Dickey’s opponent on the mound will be Barry Zito. Settling into a more sustainable pace after a hot April, Zito has made his monstrosity of a contract look slightly less repulsive. With the home-run rate regression endured by Matt Cain and the inconsistent performance of Tim Lincecum, the Giants will need steady pitching from Zito if they want to contend with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the competitive NL West.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.