MLB Baseball

Final-10 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   10 R H E
Toronto1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 380
NY Yankees2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 260
  W: J. Romano (1-0)   L: N. Nelson (0-1)   S: J. Merryweather (1)
10:05 AM PT11:05 AM MT12:05 PM CT1:05 PM ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 AM MST12:05 PM EST12:35 PM VEN21:05 UAE11:05 AM CT, April 1, 2021
Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York  Attendance: 10,850

Without Luke Voit, Yankees battle Blue Jays in opener

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees

  1. The Blue Jays and Yankees split their 2020 season series, 5-5, and they combined for 13.8 runs per game, the highest between any two AL East teams in a season series all-time.
  2. Toronto finished 2020 above .500 (32-28) for the first time since 2016, but the Blue Jays managed just three total runs in a two-game playoff series loss to the Rays. In that series, Toronto went 3-for-25 (.120) with runners on base and 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
  3. The Yankees were dominant at home in the abbreviated 2020 season, going 22-9 and outscoring their opponents by 2.3 runs per game, the team's best since 1937 (+2.8). New York did not host a playoff game, however, and lost to the Rays in five games in the ALDS.
  4. After giving up eight earned runs in nine innings over his first two starts with the Blue Jays, Hyun Jin Ryu had a 1.86 ERA over his last 10 regular-season starts of 2020. Ryu lasted only 1.2 innings in his playoff start against Tampa Bay, though, allowing eight hits and seven runs.
  5. Gerrit Cole finished third in the AL in strikeouts last season (94) but he also allowed 14 home runs, tied for second most behind Matthew Boyd's 15. Cole was the first Yankees pitcher to finish in the league's top three in both stats since Ralph Terry in 1962.
  6. Luke Voit (.610) and DJ LeMahieu (.590) combined for a .600 slugging percentage in 2020, the first pair of qualifiers to do that for the Yankees since Mickey Mantle (.687) and Roger Maris (.620) in 1961.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

The New York Yankees started last season quickly and then wound up unsuccessfully chasing the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.

This season, many expect the AL East to be decided between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. Their 19-game season series gets underway Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, which will welcome fans back at 20-percent capacity.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2, 2.69 ERA) will oppose Gerrit Cole (7-3, 2.84) in a matchup of aces coming off strong first seasons for their respective teams.

New York is coming off its fourth straight postseason appearance but did not add much to a roster that lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Division Series when Aroldis Chapman allowed a tiebreaking homer to Mike Brosseau in the eighth inning. The Yankees' only major move was re-signing DJ LeMahieu to a six-year deal.

"We understand we're a talented team, but we also understand we haven't done anything yet," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the final exhibition game on Monday. "We hope we started to lay a foundation to be a championship club. A lot of guys have been here now for a few years and experienced a lot of highs and playoff success, playoff failures and disappointing ends to the season."

This time, the Yankees are banking that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can make it through a season fully healthy after both were productive when they played last season. Judge batted .257 with nine homers and 22 RBIs, but calf injuries limited him to 28 games. Stanton batted .250 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 23 games while missing time with a hamstring injury but he dominated in the postseason by hitting .308 (8-for-26) with six homers and 13 RBIs.

The Yankees are also anticipating struggles that Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez endured were an aberration. Torres batted .243 with three homers and 16 RBIs while Sanchez struggled all season, hitting .147 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs.

The two newcomers to the Yankees' Opening Day lineup are Clint Frazier and Jay Bruce. Frazier was named the starting left fielder after hitting .267 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 39 games last season while Bruce was named the starting first baseman because Luke Voit underwent knee surgery on Monday after leading the majors with 22 homers last season.

The Blue Jays are entering a season with similar expectations they faced in 2015 and 2016 when they made consecutive trips to the American League Championship Series.

This time, the Blue Jays added significantly to their young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. Toronto added George Springer and Marcus Semien in free agency a year after adding Ryu as a free agent.

"It's an exciting time to have the Blue Jays adding pieces," Semien said. "With this young group, and the new pieces we have, we're just going to have to learn how to play together and it'll be a beautiful thing."

Toronto's young trio was productive. Bichette batted .301 with five homers and 23 RBIs, Biggio hit .250 with eight homers and 28 RBIs and Guerrero batted .262 with nine homers and 33 RBIs before losing more than 40 pounds in the offseason.

Springer joined the Blue Jays on a six-year, $150 million deal but is uncertain for Opening Day due to an oblique injury. If Springer sits out, Semien will likely be the leadoff hitter.

Ryu is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees, although he limited New York to five hits in seven scoreless innings on Sept. 24.

Cole ended last season by posting a 1.00 ERA in his final four starts. Cole went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against Toronto last season and is 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 30, 2021

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