The New York Yankees play their final tune-up before Tuesday’s wild-card game when they wrap up the regular season against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. With wins in 16 of their last 21 games, the Yankees kept the heat on Boston in the American League East before the Red Sox finally clinched Saturday.
That leaves New York with a wild-card matchup against Minnesota on Tuesday night at home, with the winner taking on Cleveland in the AL Division Series. The Yankees hope that slugger Aaron Judge stays hot into October after he finished a 15-homer month with a solo blast in Saturday’s 2-1 victory. His 52nd home run tied him with Mickey Mantle (1956) for the eighth-most in franchise history for a single season and gave him at least one RBI in seven straight games. With the game now meaningless in the standings, New York will give the ball to rookie Jordan Montgomery as he aims to become a 10-game winner, while Toronto turns to veteran Brett Anderson.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH Brett Anderson (4-4, 6.97 ERA) vs. Yankees LH Jordan Montgomery (9-7, 3.96)
Anderson picked up his second win in a Toronto uniform with five innings of three-run ball at Fenway Park on Monday, rebounding from a dismal showing against Kansas City five days earlier. He has eight strikeouts and nine walks over his last three starts after fanning 11 and walking none in his first three outings with the Blue Jays. The 29-year-old was pounded for five runs in one-third of an inning against the Yankees earlier this year while still a member of the Cubs and he is a woeful 0-5 with a 7.92 ERA in his career versus New York.
Montgomery has allowed one run in 12 innings over his last two starts - both at home - to improve to 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA in the Bronx. The rookie’s lone matchup with the Blue Jays resulted in six scoreless frames at Toronto on June 3. Montgomery, who is vying for a spot on the postseason roster, has gone six straight starts at Yankee Stadium without allowing a home run.
1. Yankees RHP Luis Severino will start the wild-card game against Twins RHP Ervin Santana.
2. Toronto RF Jose Bautista, who is expected to play his final game with the Blue Jays, is 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in the series.
3. New York LHP Aroldis Chapman retired 36-of-41 batters in September.
PREDICTION: Yankees 5, Blue Jays 4