The Yankees begin the second half of the season with a three-game set against division foe Toronto. They will be looking to duplicate the success they had in the first half, which has opened up a 6-game lead in the division. Look for the Yankees to continue to play quality baseball as they begin the final stretch of the season.
Game 1: Thursday 7:05 PM
Domingo German (10-2; 3.67 ERA) vs Aaron Sanchez (3-12; 6.16 ERA)
The first game after the all-star break will be a matchup between Domingo German and Aaron Sanchez. German was terrific in his first start off of the IL, earning the win after pitching 6 innings of 1 run baseball against the Mets. Aaron Sanchez has struggled mightily so far in 2019, with an ERA higher than 6. He did pitch better in his last start, allowing 2 runs in 5 innings, however he still took the loss.
In 3 career games against Toronto, German is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA. He has allowed 4 runs in 9.1 innings, while walking 7 and striking out 11. Hopefully German can build off of the success he has had so far in 2019 and put together another quality start for a Yankees team who has struggled to get length from their starting pitchers. Sanchez is 2-5 in 16 games against the Yankees. He faced them once previously this year, taking the loss after giving up 7 runs in 5.1 innings.
Game 2: Saturday 1:05 PM
J.A. Happ (7-4; 5.02 ERA) vs Clayton Richard (1-5; 6.23 ERA)
Game two is a battle between two veteran pitcher who have struggled so far in 2019. Happ will be looking to build off of his last start, a 5.1 inning 1 run performance against the Rays. The bulk of his struggles have come as a result of command issues with his fastball. If Happ can correct these issues, he has a great shot of replicating what he was able to do in 2018 for the Yankees. Richard has bounced back from a very difficult start to 2019, allowing 3 or fewer earned runs in his last 3 starts.
Happ is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 4 career starts against the Blue Jays. This includes a 7 inning 1 run gem he threw against the Jays earlier this season, helping the Yankees to avoid the sweep. Richard is 0-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 3 games against the Yankees. This will be his 3rd start of the season against them, going 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in his previous 2.
Game 3: Sunday 1:05 PM
Masahiro Tanaka (5-5; 3.86 ERA) vs Marcus Stroman (5-9; 3.18 ERA)
The series finale features a battle of the aces as both teams will send their best starter to the mound. Tanaka will be making his first appearance since the all-star game, where he earned the win after throwing a scoreless inning. Stroman will be looking to get back on track after leaving his last start after 4 innings with a pectoral cramp.
Tanaka us 11-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 18 career starts against the Jays. He did take a loss in his only start against them in 2019, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings. Stroman is 6-5 with a 4.21 ERA in 16 career starts against the Yankees. He dominated them his first few season in the MLB but has struggled mightily against them since 2017.
Fantasy Players to Watch
DJ LeMahieu has been the star of the 2019 Yankees. With the second half of the season getting underway tonight, what better choice than him. Hopefully he can duplicate what he has done so far in the first half, and continue to help this Yankees team win ball games.
Aaron Judge is going to go on a tear soon. He has been relatively quiet lately other than his multi-homer game against the Rays. Judge has good numbers against Toronto pitching in his career, and is the star of this Yankees team. With so much uncertainty in terms of playing time in the outfield, the choice comes down to Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge. Judge is the more consistent of the two and he is the choice here.
Masahiro Tanaka was the Yankees best starting pitcher in the first half. His ERA is slightly inflated due to his poor performance in the London Series, but outside of that game he has been excellent so far in 2019. Look for Tanaka to get off to a hot start in the second half with a good performance on Sunday.
The Yankees should be able to start the second half of the season with a few wins. In doing so, Chapman will likely get the opportunity to pitch. Any time Chapman enters the game he is a threat to strike every hitter out. For this reason, he is the choice out of the bullpen.
Editors Note: This is a new thing we are doing this season. Each series you will choose one outfielder, one infielder, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher. We are only counting two stats. Total bases for hitters and strikeouts for pitchers.
Your totals will be counted and a winner will receive a prize at the end of each month. Make sure you come back and make your picks before each series. You will find them right here on the series preview post.