Toronto Blue Jays battle New York Yankees for first
By: David Hurley – mtltimes.ca
The Toronto Blue Jays are finding that this year’s dog days of summer to be a back and forth, tit for tat, right down to the wire battle with the New York Yankees for the American Leagues East. Simply put, we’re watching the best division battle in baseball unfold.
For a while, it looked like the Jays might fly away with it.
Toronto went all-in at the trade deadline, acquiring All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and ace left-hander David Price, and they ripped off an 11-game winning streak.
Just how close is this race? FanGraphs puts the chances of the Yankees winning it at 47.8 percent. The Jays? They’re sitting at 48.0 percent.
If you’re looking for a tipping point, it could be that the Yankees are leaning—hard—on veterans with injury histories like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Beltran to make the offense hum. And their starting five is counting on continued health from Masahiro Tanaka, he of the ticking-time-bomb elbow.
On the flip side, the Jays are no wide-eyed neophytes. They have added veterans who want to emulate the success of the last Toronto Blue Jays team that made the playoffs in 1993 and won the World Series.
Josh Donaldson is having an MVP type season, followed by Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays have a trio of long ball hitting leaders. The rotation is led by 2012 American and National League Cy Young winners David Price and R.A. Dickey.
The two squads tangle in a four-game series beginning Sept. 10 in the Bronx, followed by a three-game set beginning Sept. 21 north of the border.
That flurry of head-to-head action could resolve the matter, but here’s betting it’ll drag on till the end.