Ace left-hander David Price takes the mound for Toronto on Monday night (7:07 p.m. ET) for the opener of a three-game home series in which the Blue Jays hope to deal a crippling blow to the New York Yankees in the American League East race.
Toronto (85-64) holds a 2½–game lead over New York (82-66) with 13 games left on the Jays' schedule and 14 remaining for the Yankees.
The teams will not meet again in the regular season after this series, though a post-season encounter could happen as both clubs appear headed there. New York leads the AL wild card chase by four games over Houston, and has another 2½-game cushion on the L.A. Angels and Minnesota, who are the two closest teams on the outside looking in.
The Yankees-Jays series still carries plenty of importance, though, as the division winner will likely get home-field advantage for a best-of-five playoff series, while the wild card teams are forced into a one-game showdown against each other for the right to advance and play the AL's top division champ.
Toronto is looking to bounce back after dropping the final two contests of a three-game series to last-place Boston over the weekend, squandering leads in both setbacks. The 4-3 loss on Sunday proved more costly when the Yankees exploded late across town at the New York Mets and earned an 11-2 win to trim their division deficit to 2½ games.
New York wasted an opportunity to take over the division lead when it lost three of four at home to the Blue Jays from Sept. 11-13 but did take two of three in Toronto last month.
Yankees RH Adam Warren (6-6, 3.33 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH David Price (16-5, 2.42)
Warren returned to the rotation on Tuesday and allowed two runs and six hits in four innings without factoring in the decision at Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old is 5-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 15 starts this season. Warren always has been tough on Toronto but still is looking for his first win against the division rival, going 0-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 14 games (one start).
Price leads the AL in ERA and has yet to allow more than three runs in nine starts since joining the Blue Jays via a trade with Detroit. The Vanderbilt product scattered one run and six hits over seven innings while striking out nine at Atlanta on Wednesday to add to his Cy Young Award resume. Price already is making his fourth start against New York since joining Toronto as he went 2-0 while yielding a total of five runs in 19 1/3 frames over the first three.
- The Blue Jays are 13-27 in one-run games.
- New York RHP Masahiro Tanaka (hamstring) will not make his scheduled start on Wednesday and is expected to be replaced by Ivan Nova.
- Toronto 3B and MVP candidate Josh Donaldson is 4-for-28 in his last seven games.