The New York Yankees have built a sizable advantage in the American League East through a combination of timely hitting and solid pitching. But with their top starter landing on the 15-day disabled list, the Yankees face a slightly tougher path to the division title as they look for a sweep of the host Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. New York has dominated the first two games of the series but will be without CC Sabathia for a while after he was diagnosed with left elbow inflammation.
With Sabathia joining Alex Rodriguez (fractured hand), Mariano Rivera (torn ACL), Andy Pettitte (fractured ankle) and Brett Gardner (sore right elbow) on the DL, New York has been forced to rely on backups Eric Chavez, Freddy Garcia and Andruw Jones to pick up the slack. So far, the Yankees have been pleasantly surprised with the performances of all three. The same can’t be said for Toronto, which will likely be without six members of its starting lineup for Sunday’s finale.
Yankees Blue Jays Betting
When: 1:07 PM ET, Sunday, August 12, 2012
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
TV: 1:07 p.m. ET, YES (New York), RSN-1 (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Phil Hughes (11-9, 4.10 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH J.A. Happ (0-1, 6.35)
Hughes saw a streak of four straight quality starts come to a halt last time out as he surrendered four runs on eight hits over just 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Detroit Tigers. The 26-year-old is no stranger to the Blue Jays, having faced them 19 times – more than any other club in his career. He comes into Sunday’s outing 3-4 with one save and a 4.38 ERA versus Toronto. Hughes last squared off against the Jays back on July 16, limiting them to two runs over seven innings but settling for a no-decision.
Happ was told when the Blue Jays acquired him from Houston late last month that he would pitch in relief. But with the injury bug crippling the entire Toronto roster, the 29-year-old southpaw didn’t have to wait long for a promotion. His first start with the Jays five days ago was hardly a rousing success – he surrendered four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings against Tampa Bay – but with few options left, Toronto manager John Farrell will likely keep Happ in the rotation for the forseeable future.
1. Happ has one made career start against the Yankees, limiting them to two runs over six innings en route to a no-decision back on May 23, 2009 while with Philadelphia.
2. The Yankees and Blue Jays rank first and second, respectively, in the majors in home runs but have combined to go deep only three times in the first two games of the series.
3. The teams will meet nine more times over the final five weeks of the regular season.