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Yankees Host Blue Jays in Important Three-Game Series

The top two teams in the American League East open a three-game series in the Big Apple on Friday when the New York Yankees host the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees lead the Blue Jays by 4 ½ games, but the two teams will play head to head 13 times between Friday and the end of the regular season.

New York on the season is 61-46 while Toronto is 58-52. The current line has New York favored at -125, with Toronto sitting at +115.

The lead by New York has been shrinking of late thanks to the fine play of Toronto. Over their past 10 games played the Yankees are 6-4. New York is 32-18 playing at home and have moved to 15 games above .500.

New York is hitting .259 as a team with the majority of the offense supplied by Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The pitching staff for New York has a team ERA of 3.98 with its starters at 4.35 and its bullpen at 3.32.

The Yankees will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Friday. Eovaldi is 11-2 with an ERA of 4.30. He has struck out 85 in 117 innings and given up 142 hits with 56 earned runs.

The Blue Jays made a number of bold moves the week of the trade deadline and they appear to be paying dividends already. The Blue Jays have won five straight and 8 of 10, but are a dismal 22-31 on the road.

Offensively the Blue Jays have a team batting average of .263. Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .303, while Josh Donaldson is at .295 and Kevin Pillar is .264.

The pitching staff for Toronto has a team ERA of 3.93, with the starts at 4.42 and the bullpen 3.35.

The Blue Jays will send R.A. Dickey to the mound. The knuckleballer on the season is 6-10 with an ERA of 4.06. He has 90 strikeouts over 144 innings pitched.

The Yankees are 23-8 over their past 31 games played at home, 17-7 over their past 24 games overall and 4-0 over the past four starts by Eovaldi.

Toronto is 4-0 over its past four games versus a team with a record above .500, 7-3 over its past 10 games played on Friday and 2-10 in the past 10 starts Dickey has against teams from the AL East.

The total has been place at 9 runs. That total should be met easily as both pitchers have fairly high ERAs and the Toronto offense has been on fire.

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