The Yankees started off the season hot winning two of their first three games against their rivals in the Boston Red Sox. Now, they get another NL East rival in the Toronto Blue Jays at home. The Yankees were 46-35 at home last season but the Blue Jays were 44-38 on the road. The Blue Jays also have plenty of experience after travelling for a majority of the last two seasons. They have been from Dunedin, FL to Buffalo, NY to Toronto for their “home” games the past two seasons.
The Blue Jays also had a very good record against the Yankees in New York last season. The Blue Jays were 8-2 at Yankee Stadium last season, and they were 11-8 against them despite not having real home games. Since the Blue Jays played in Buffalo last season, there were actually a majority of Yankees fans at all their home games in Buffalo. It was a very weird predicament, but I am sure that explains for some of the reverse home/road splits in this series.
I actually think the Yankees have a big bullpen advantage in general. However, both these teams were able to save their top bullpen arms by losing yesterday. The Blue Jays need the top of their bullpen more than the Yankees do, so when those guys are available, they are considerably more dangerous. The Blue Jays didn’t have their top bullpen arms available yesterday and they blew a lead. The Yankees also have their top bullpen arms available, but they don’t have as much of a drop-off when you get towards the back end of the pitchers.
Both these starters had both good and poor starts against each other’s team last season. Alek Manoah actually made his Major League debut against the Yankees and absolutely dazzled, pitching 6 innings without allowing a run. He faced the Yankees one other time last season and struggled a bit allowing 3 ER in 5.2 IP, however the Blue Jays still won. Alek Manoah also went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA in his rookie season last year. Jameson Taillon was hit bad in his first start against the Blue Jays last season allowing 5 ER in 3.2 IP. He faced them later last season and pitched 7 innings only allowing 3 ER, however the Yankees still lost that game. He faced the Blue Jays one last time last season, but he only pitched 2.1 innings. I think Manoah and the Blue Jays should have success in the Bronx today, take the Blue Jays on the road.