The Toronto Blue Jays are singlehandedly helping the New York Yankees stay in the playoff hunt. Before the start of today’s game, the Yankees are 11-1 against the Jays, with a 2.3 difference in run differential. The Yanks have .24 better batting average and seven more home runs than the Blue Jays when they face off against each other. The biggest kicker is the difference in pitching staffs; the Blue Jays have a 4.97 ERA and the Yanks have a 3.06 ERA in these American League East matchups.
If these two teams never played one another this year, they would have almost identical records. Actually, the Blue Jays would actually be a half-game ahead of the Yanks if they never faced each other. The Yanks would be 56-59 and the Jays would be 57-59. Against the other AL East opponents, the Jays are a respectable 20-25, while the Yanks are 16-21.
The Yankees still have six games left in Toronto — one series at the end of August and the final one against them in the middle of September. If the Blue Jays continue to be the Yankees whipping boys, these games would be crucial for a final playoff push. Before games began today, the Yanks were only four games out of the second wild card spot. It’s asking a lot to sweep both those series, but the Yanks seem to have the Jays number, so I’m expecting to at least take two out of three games in each meeting in Canada. The Yankees also have 20 games left, with the remaining teams in the AL East who are all ahead of them in the standings. It should be a very interesting conclusion to a season that seemed lost just a few weeks ago.