The New York Yankees find themselves in an unfamiliar position on Tuesday as they look to play spoiler against the Toronto Blue Jays play at Yankee Stadium in the thick of the American League Wild Card hunt.
Toronto Blue Jays (-112, 8.5) vs. New York Yankees
Yusei Kikuchi gets the start on the mound for the Blue Jays, who has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his 11 starts since the All-Star break.
Overall, Kikuchi has a 3.13 ERA and has allowed 0.6 home runs per nine innings since the All-Star break compared to a 4.24 ERA and 2.1 home runs per nine innings allowed prior. And now, he gets to face one of the league’s worst lineups.
Since June 4, which was the first game the team played without Aaron Judge when he went on the injured list with a toe injury, the team ranks 29th in the league in runs per game with 3.9 and the team’s .218 batting average in that span is a whole 10 points lower than any other team in the league.
The lineup will look to bust through and provide starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt with some support, who overall this season has been a bend but don’t break pitcher, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 21 of his last 23 starts, but still has a 4.56 ERA 1.3 home runs and has allowed 2.5 walks per nine innings to show for it.
Overall, the Yankees have the league’s lowest bullpen ERA (3.78), but since the beginning of July, the Blue Jays have a lower bullpen ERA, ranking sixth in the league with a 3.53 ERA.
With Kikuchi’s second half-of-season success coupled with the Yankees’ offensive troubles, the Blue Jays will get a win they badly need for their playoff hopes on Tuesday.
The Play: Blue Jays -112