With the AL East lead still at 1.5, this four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx is just what the New York Yankees needed.

American League
New York Yankees (77-61) vs Toronto Blue Jays (79-60)
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

  • Game 1: Thurs, 7:05 PM ET, Severino (3-2, 2.04) – Price (14-5, 2.43)
  • Game 2: Fri, 7:05 PM ET, Nova (6-7, 4.50) – Estrada (12-8, 3.18)
  • Game 3: Sat, 1:05 PM ET, Pineda (10-8, 4.15) – Stroman (N/A)
  • Game 4: Sun, 1:05 PM ET, Tanaka (11-6, 3.57) – Dickey (10-10, 4.01)

By Robby Sabo

New York Yankees Time To Do Damage Against Jays Has ComeEvery so often during the course of 162 games come series that mean just a little more than the average day. For the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, this four-game set at Yankee Stadium marks one of those very series.

After a disappointing three-games against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yanks will send out their de-facto ace in Luis Severino (3-2, 2.04 ERA). He’ll take on the one and only David Price (14-5, 2.43 ERA).

It was especially disappointing losing two-of-three to Buck Showalter and the Orioles due to the fact the Jays also lost two-of-three to the Boston Red Sox. Instead of a 1.5 game deficit the Yanks could’ve been staring at a .5 game or even heading into tonight as the leaders.

In any event, these games essentially count double, for each outcome will swing the divisional difference a full game.

Via MLB.com:

“I think you’d have to have your head in the sand to think that they’re not important games,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told MLB’s official website. “Obviously it’s the team that we’re fighting for first place, and the importance of winning the division the way that the playoffs are set up, the games are extremely important.”

If baseball’s done one thing so well these last several seasons, it’s that the difference between a Wild Card and a Division Championship is so drastic. Although both teams are almost sure locks to fall back on the Wild Card, being placed into a due or die, one game scenario is not where you’d like to be.

This is why winning the AL East is so critical.

Severino (3-2, 2.04) has five quality starts in six outings since his promotion from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Aug. 5, and is 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his past three.

The kid is exactly who New York wants on the mound in this, the first game of the biggest series of the season.

The action will get underway at 7:05 PM ET.

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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared on major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com