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Series Preview: Yankees vs Blue Jays

As the Yankees return from the All-Star break to start the second half push for the AL East division title, they head to Toronto for a four game series against Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays.

The Yankees head into the series missing third baseman Alex Rodriguez who is out after getting surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee. Rodriguez will miss 5-6 weeks while recovering from the injury.  Look for the Yankees to use Eduardo Nunez to take over at the hot corner with Ramiro Pena interjected as well.

Bartolo Colon takes the mound on Thursday in Toronto

Bartolo Colon (6-4) will take the ball to start the series in Toronto. After coming back from the disabled list, Colon makes his third start trying to bounce back from a five run outing against Tampa Bay. He, and the rest of the Yankee pitchers, will have to face Bautista, who leads the MLB in home runs (31).

Bautista is second in the American League with a .334 batting average and provides a lethal bat in the Blue Jays lineup. Adam Lind has some pop of his own (16 homeruns) and Rajai Davis is a threat on the base paths with 24 steals.

Following Colon, the Yanks will send Freddy Garcia (7-6), C.C. Sabathia (13-4) and Phil Hughes (0-2) to the mound hoping to get the second half off to a strong start against a division foe.

The Yankee lineup will have to deal with Jo-Jo Reyes (4-7) in game one followed by Brandon Morrow (5-4) or Brett Cecil (2-4) in game two, Carlos Villanueva (5-1) and Ricky Romero (7-8) to close the series. Morrow and Romero both have high strikeout totals in the first half of the season. The Yankees patience at the plate will be a large factor in the series.

Expect to see a good number of long balls in this series as the Yankees rank first in the MLB with 123 homeruns, while the Blue Jays are tied at third in the league with 107 of their own.

The Yankees should be able to hold their own in the Rodgers Centre in Toronto to start the second half strong. I predict the Yankees will win three of four against the Blue Jays.



Justin McElrath

NYYUniverse.com Staff Writer

Follow me on Twitter @Justin_McElrath