With the Rays heading to Baltimore to play the O’s, winning this series is critical for the Yanks. They currently sit 1.5 games ahead of TB in the AL East and will hope for some help from our friend, Buck Showalter. The Yankees will face the same three arms that they saw in Toronto, so yay for consistency. The Yankees are 5-7 against the Jays this year. Let’s hope they can hit Morrow and Cecil this time around…

Keys to the Series:

Things haven’t changed much since the last time these two teams squared off. The Blue Jays can hit homers, but can’t seem to get anyone on base when they hit them. Their bullpen has a lot of quality arms so getting to the starters early is the key to the series.

Pitching Match-Ups:

Friday, 1:05 PM, YES: Brandon Morrow (10-6, 4.27 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (1-0, 1.93 ERA)

Last Start:
Morrow: Win, six innings, one earned run, nine strikeouts (vs. DET)
Nova: Win, 5 2/3 innings, one earned run, seven strikeouts (at CWS)

**Just two weeks ago, Morrow struck out 12 Yankees in only six innings. Morrow has struck out 36 Yankees in 24 1/3 innings over four starts.

**Nova threw 5 1/3 innings against these same Jays last week. He only gave up runs via a Jose Bautista HR.

Saturday, 1:05 PM, YES: Mark Rzepczynski (1-3, 6.03 ERA) vs. Javier Vazquez (10-9, 4.86 ERA)

Last Start:
Rzepczynski: Loss, 5 2/3 innings, four earned runs, eight strikeouts (vs DET)
Vazquez: (8/21), ND, three innings, four earned runs, two strikeouts (vs SEA)

**The Yanks touched Rzepczynski up for six runs in three innings last week. He carries a 4.41 ERA on the road this year.

**After two strong bullpen performances, Vazquez has been moved back into the starting rotation in favor of Dustin Moseley. Vazquez has only given up four hits in his last nine innings.

Sunday, 1:05 PM, YES: Brett Cecil (11-7, 3.75 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (16-6, 4.10 ERA)

Last Start:
Cecil: Loss, seven innings, two earned runs, seven strikeouts (at TB)
Hughes:
Win, five innings, two earned runs, one strikeout (vs. OAK)

**Cecil defeated the Yankees last week after throwing eight innings of two run ball. He is 6-5 with a 3.81 ERA on the road this year.

**Hughes is 10-3 with a 4.60 ERA at home this year. He is 1-1 against the Jays in three starts this year.

Enjoy the series!