The Blue Jays will fly in for a three-game set starting tonight at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees and Jays have split their first six games this year with each team taking two of three at their home stadiums. What are the keys for the Yanks slowing down the hot Jays, winners of six of eight?

Keys to the Series

1. No More Shots of Jose!:

MLB home run leader, Jose Bautista has smacked 31 total home runs this season.  Bautista was arguably the hottest hitter in the American League during July smacking 11 round trippers while hitting a .347 clip. Bautista has hit three home runs in only 23 at-bats against the Yanks this season.

2. Get to the Starters:

The Yankees have hit all three of Toronto’s projected starters pretty well. The Yankees tagged tonight’s starter, Brandon Morrow for five earned runs earlier this season. Tuesday’s starter, Ricky Romero is 1-2 with a 6.91 ERA in five starts. Wednesday’s starter Shaun Marcum is 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA in eight starts.

3. Get Elvis, A-Rod Comfortable

Fat Elvis aka Lance Berkman is pretty much doing what any player does when he comes to the Yankees: trying to over perform. It was pretty painful watching Berkman play first base yesterday. His 1 for 8 stretch with the Yanks hasn’t been great, either. He’ll come around. He just needs to take it easy.

Alike everyone else in America, I’m ready for A-Rod to hit #600. I’m tired of talking about it, hearing about it, etc. He’s just ready to hit it.

Here’s the tale of the tape:

TOR NYY Advantage
HRs 158 (1st) 124 (3rd) TOR
OBP .312 (13th) .354 (1st) NYY
ERA 4.07 (8th) 3.87 (4th) NYY
BAA .252 (6th) .247 (3rd) NYY
FIELDING .987 (3rd) .988 (2nd) NYY

The Jays are pretty good at putting the ball out of the yard so the Yankee pitchers really need to keep the ball down.

Pitching Match-Ups:

Monday, 7:05 PM, YES: Brandon Morrow (7-6, 4.62 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (9-8, 4.52 ERA)

Last Start:
Morrow: Win, six innings, two earned runs, four strikeouts (vs. BAL)
Burnett: Win, 6 1/3 innings, no runs, seven strikeouts (at CLE)

**Morrow is 1-5 with a 6.21 ERA on the road this year.
**Burnett has not yielded an earned run over his previous two starts.

Tuesday, 7:05 PM, YES: Ricky Romero (8-7, 3.46 ERA) vs. Dustin Moseley (1-0, 3.24 ERA)

Last Start:
Romero: Win, 7 2/3 innings, two earned runs, eight strikeouts (vs. BAL)
Moseley: Win, six innings, one earned run, four strikeouts (at CLE)

**Romero is 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA on the road this year.
**After a very impressive starting debut, Moseley will receive another start as Andy Pettitte begins his rehab.

Wednesday, 1:05 PM, YES: Shaun Marcum (10-4, 3.24 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (12-4, 4.07 ERA)

Last Start:
Marcum: Win, seven innings, one earned run, ten strikeouts (vs. CLE)
Hughes: Loss, six innings, three earned runs, six strikeouts (at TB)

**Marcum has won his last two road starts while giving up only three earned runs over eleven innings.
**While Hughes’ 7-2 record at home is impressive, his 5.21 ERA at the house that George built, isn’t.

Enjoy the series!