New York Yankees Have Huge, Season-Defining Week Ahead


It’s still very early in the season, but this week could be massive for the New York Yankees. Tonight kicks off a three game series at the Toronto Blue Jays, the preseason favorite to win the American League East division. The Bronx Bombers enter the series, sitting in first place, at 16-6. The Jays are only a game and a half back, at 15-8. It is widely expected that these two teams will be the only true, real contenders for the division crown.

The Tampa Bay Rays, who have a very talented roster in their own right, could also be in the mix, and right now they’re two games over .500 at 12-10. The Baltimore Orioles, a franchise often prone to having massively losing seasons, seem destined for that fate again in 2022. The Boston Red Sox, a perennial power and (obviously the Yanks’ biggest rival) are still in rebuilding mode, and won’t be a factor this season.

We’ll see the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays battle at Rogers Centre in the first of three tonight. According to the odds at Betway, the host Jays are favored, to the tune of 1.83 while the underdog Yankees are priced at 2.00. The Yankees, who will send Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 2.70 ERA, WHIP 0.95) to the hill tonight against Ross Stripling (0-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), have a more favorable projection tonight from ESPN.

Their website’s matchup predictor gives them a 58.3% chance of winning tonight. After the three game set with Toronto comes a three game series with the Texas Rangers, and then two more with Toronto at Yankee Stadium. The five games this week between the Blue Jays and Yankees should give us a clearer picture of who the true front-runner is in what is baseball’s strongest division (traditionally).

Right now, New York are winners of nine straight, and they have the best record in all of baseball, so momentum is definitely on their side.


The Rangers series in the Bronx, sandwiched in between, is like a MLB version of a football “trap game” of sorts. Although it does contain one of the team’s best promotions of the entire season, the Yoda Bobblehead on Star Wars Night this Friday.

That’s also slated to be a Gerrit Cole start, and those outings always provide additional talking points. May the Fourth Be With You indeed, for what should be a very highly intended New York Yankees home contest. Our New York Yankees player to watch this week? The team leader in home runs and RBIs this season, Anthony Rizzo.

There’s a reason Yankees fans make jokes like “I’ll drive Rizzo myself to CVS to get the shot” or “vaccinated Anthony Rizzo is the best player in baseball.”

Obviously, that’s not gonna happen, but they need Rizzo to stay healthy and safe this season. The offense isn’t the same, this year, unless he’s there, clicking and helping create a murder’s row with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram


  1. Charted as a curveball by Statcast, the unique pitch has nasty side-to-side (East-West, in scout parlance) movement, the “Kluber ball” has been lethal against right-handed hitters. Dropping the cutter that he used against lefties last season, King has been more effective using his bread-and-butter four-seam fastball and a very effective changeup. Last season lefties hit .256 off him, so far in 15 plate appearances against left-handed hitters, King has walked one and not given up a hit.

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