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Yankees vs Blue Jays Series Preview

The Yankees start an 11-game road trip on Friday as they travel to Toronto for a weekend series with the Blue Jays. This series is not only important to start off on the right foot, but J.A. Happ will be pitching. This gives the Yanks their best look of a potential trade target about a month before the July 31 trade deadline.

New York is fresh off another series win against the Braves, as they have won their last series after being swept by the Rays. Toronto most recently split a mini series with the Mets, before splitting a four-game series with the Tigers. The Blue Jays (40-46) have yet to hit .500 and sit a whopping 18 games back in the division.

Game 1 (Sonny Gray vs Sam Gaviglio)

Gray (5-6, 5.44 ERA) is coming off arguably the worst start if his Yankees career, giving up six runs in 2.1 innings to the Red Sox. He tore himself apart in the post game, calling his performance “embarrassing” and claiming that he would have booed louder if he was in the crowd.

On the other hand, Gray is a different pitcher on the road.

Home: 2-3, 8.25 ERA, 8 HR, 23 BB, 25 K, 2.00 WHIP

Road: 3-3, 3.28 ERA, 2 HR, 13 BB, 48 K, 1.13 WHIP

Also, Gray threw his best start of the year a month ago at the Rogers Centre (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K). Perhaps he can recreate some of that tonight.

Gaviglio (2-2, 3.97 ERA) dominated the Yankees offense the last time he faced them on June 6. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed just three hits, although the Yanks outlasted the Jays in 13 innings with the help of long balls from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Since then, Gaviglio is 0-1 with a 6.16 ERA in his last four starts. He has allowed four home runs in that stretch, and eight in 10 starts this season.

Game 2 (Luis Severino vs JA Happ)

This will be the most important game of the series, mostly because the front office gets to see Happ duel one of the best pitchers in the American League. Additionally, if Gray cannot get the job done in the opening game, Severino (13-2, 1.98 ERA) is the best pitcher to put out there to take game two.

Sevy just threw 6.2 shutout innings against Boston in his last start, and has allowed just five earned runs in his past six starts. In both victorious starts against Toronto this season, he has thrown a combined 12.2 innings, allowing four hits and one run.

Happ (10-4, 4.03 ERA) was roughed up by the Tigers in his last start, giving up seven runs in 5.2 innings. His ERA once stood at 3.48 in mid-June, but a 6.30 ERA in his last three starts ballooned it to over four. He has started just once against the Yankees on Opening Day, and allowed a pair of earned runs in 4.2 innings.

Career wise, Happ is 8-3 with a 3.53 ERA in 17 starts against the Yankees.

Game 3 (Domingo German vs Ryan Borucki)

German (2-4, 5.37 ERA) has struggled to give the Yankees length his last start (4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 6 K), but held his own against a potent Phillies offense. Aside from three starts of six earned runs, he has done his job for the Yankees. He made one relief appearance on April 20 against the Blue Jays, going 1.2 innings and giving up two runs.

Borucki (0-1, 2.77 ERA) made his MLB debut 10 days ago. IN two starts, the 24-year-old threw six innings of two-run ball against Houston and seven innings of two-run ball against Detroit. He fared well with Houston’s offense, which means that he has potential to handle the Yankees as well. Nonetheless, New York hopes to take advantage of a young, inexperienced pitcher to close out the series.