The Toronto Blue Jays look to win a series for the first time this season and pull even on their initial homestand of the year when they wrap up a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Thursday. The Blue Jays split their first four-game series before dropping two of three to Boston and then the opener against the Yankees, losing five of six overall before posting a 7-2 win on Wednesday.
They looked a bit more like the team many expected to see in the most recent contest, riding a solid start from J.A. Happ and a big night by Ryan Goins to their most lopsided win of the young season. Goins was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored and slugger Jose Bautista recorded his 800th career RBI to pace Toronto’s attack, which included six doubles. New York’s offense has been hit or miss early on, scoring eight or more runs three times and three runs or fewer in its other five contests. Designated hitter Alex Rodriguez is 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series and is a .268 hitter in 119 games at the Rogers Centre, nearly 30 points below his career mark.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, MLB Network, YES (New York), Sportsnet (Toronto)
LINE HISTORY: The Blue Jays opened at -150 following Wednesday night’s win and the line edged further in the direction of the favorites overnight to -155. The total opened at 8 but was bumped up to 8.5 by Thursday morning.
Yankees – C B. McCann (Questionable Thursday, toe), RP A. Chapman (Egilible May 9th, suspension).
Blue Jays – RP F. Morales (15-Day DL, shoulder), RP A. Loup (15-Day DL, elbow), 2B D. Travis (Mid May, shoulder).
WEATHER REPORT: The conditions will be clear and cool in Toronto Thursday night, but it will be the same as it is every night inside the domed Rogers Centre.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (1-0, 5.40)
Eovaldi’s season got off to an uneven start with five innings in a no-decision against Houston last Thursday. He had seven strikeouts against zero walks and gave up just six hits, but four went for extra bases – including two home runs – and the Astros got to him for five runs. The 26-year-old let up one run in 6 1/3 innings in his only start against Toronto last year and he will be making his debut at the Rogers Centre.
After working into the ninth inning in his season debut, Stroman was unable to get through six in a rocky outing versus Boston at home on Friday. He gave up five earned runs to match a career high, but his lifetime ERA at home still stands at a sparkling 2.66 through 18 games (14 starts). Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is hitless in 11 career at-bats against Stroman, while left fielder Brett Gardner has two homers and a double in 13 at-bats.
* Yankees are 2-8 in their last 10 vs. American League East.
* Yankees are 7-0 in Eovaldi’s last 7 road starts.
* Blue Jays are 8-2 in Stroman’s last 10 starts.
* Under is 6-1 in Eovaldi’s last 7 starts vs. American League East.
* Over is 6-0 in Stroman’s last 6 starts overall.
* Yankees are 7-1 in their last 8 games with Joyce behind home plate.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers Consensus numbers are heavily tilted toward the home favorite Toronto Blue Jays (71 percent) and the over has been getting the majority of the total action (58 percent).