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We’re in the final week of the season and as far as the American League Wild Card game goes, it’s about as uncertain as when the season began. Wednesday’s back-and-forth affair between the Blue Jays and Yankees was exactly what one would expect at this point in the season, with all that is on the line.
Right now, the Yankees own the top AL Wild Card spot and the Red Sox hold the second, with the Mariners half a game back, the Blue Jays one game back, and the Athletics all but mathematically eliminated from contention, 4.5 games back. Bo Bicihette was the hero for Toronto on Wednesday, blasting a home run in the eighth inning (his second of the game) to break a 5-5 tie and send the fans home happy with a 6-5 win.
That doesn’t even touch on how earlier in the contest, Marcus Semien blasting his 44th long ball of the year — setting a new record for a second baseman in the process.
As for the Yankees, they never got the long ball, but they got enough timely hits to keep the game close. The loss snapped a seven game winning streak
A former Cy Young winner vs. a future Cy Young winner? That very well may be what’s on the mound Thursday when Corey Kluber rfaces Robbie Ray Thursday.
Kluber has been back just more than three weeks and has just one quality appearance in five starts.
On the season, the veteran is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in 75.1 innings. He struggled in September, Lasting more than four innings just once in his first four starts this month. He has a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings of work and a 1.55 WHIP.
Ray on the other hand has been lights out. He’s given up three runs or fewer in 21 of his past 22 starts and an ERA below 2.87 in each of the past four months. On the year, Ray is 13-6 with a 2.68 ERA (5th), 1.04 WHIP and 244 strikeouts (second) in 188 innings.
Despite his dominance, the Jays have struggled lately when Ray has been on the mound. Toronto is 7-6 in Ray’s last 13 starts and
Picking Giancarlo Stanton feels like cheating, but going 10-of-20 with four home runs, two doubles and 13 RBIs speaks for itself.
His .500 batting average across the past five games has almost single-handedly propelled the Yankees to oa few wins and we will see if he can mash against the lefty — Stanton is hitting .268 with an .877 OPS against southpaws this season.
For Toronto, we’re looking at Vladamir Guerrero Jr. surprisingly enough. He’s been cold lately, going just 3-of-23 with no walls in his past six games (good for a .130 batting average and .405 OPS) and the Blue Jays will absolutely need him if they’re going to play in October.
There’s no time like the present to get that started.
|Yankees vs Blue Jays Information|
|Teams||New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays|
|Location||Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario|
|Time||Thursday, Sept. 30, 7:07 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||YES Network, MLB.TV|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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