The Toronto Blue Jays have dropped four of their last six games, getting shut out three times in the process. It has been a tough stretch for the top team in the American League East.
After losing just nine games in May, the Blue Jays have already lost four games in the first 11 days of June. Unfortunately for Toronto, their schedule only gets tougher from here on out and the games suddenly become a lot more important.
The Blue Jays will head to Baltimore for a four-game set against the Orioles starting Thursday. This is arguably one of the most important series that Toronto will play this month.
The Orioles were just seven games behind the Blue Jays entering play on Wednesday. Toronto needs to at least secure a split in this series or risk seeing the division lead that it spent the entire month of May building shrink.
Luckily for the Blue Jays, Baltimore has struggled at home, posting a 13-15 record at Camden Yards. Toronto meanwhile has done well on the road and has a 19-11 record playing outside the confines of Rogers Centre.
The Orioles also have the worst starting pitching in the AL East this season, posting a combined staff ERA of 4.16. This bodes well for a Blue Jays team that has struggled at the plate lately.
Following its matchup against Baltimore, Toronto will head to Yankee Stadium for the first time this season to play a three-game set against the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays have struggled playing at Yankee Stadium in recent years, famously losing all 10 of their games played there last season.
The Yankees—who were five games behind the Blue Jays entering play Wednesday—also come to Rogers Centre for another three-game series later this month.
New York already took two of three games against the Blue Jays earlier this season when the two teams last faced each other during an April-series in Toronto.
Led by Rookie of the Year candidate Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees have the sixth-lowest staff ERA in the AL. On the downside, their offense has struggled and is ranked 14th in the AL in runs scored.
That’s 10 of Toronto’s next 13 games coming against fellow AL East rivals. Based on what happens, the AL East standings might look a lot different two weeks from now.
All advanced statistics in this article are from MLB.com