This is a huge weekend in the AL East race. The Rays open a three game series tonight with the Yankees at the Stadium, while the Red Sox host the Blue Jays for a four game series at Fenway Park. The Yankees certainly didn't expect to be in a spoiler position in their final homestand of the "House that Ruth Built", but they could have a major impact on the outcome of both the AL East and wildcard races. They certainly have been spoilers for the Rays so far this season, winning 9 of 15 games, including 2 of 3 last week in Tampa.
The Blue Jays are the hottest team in baseball, having won 11 of their last 12 games, and have beaten the Red Sox in 7 of 11 meetings this season. The two teams have seven games remaining between.
The pitching match ups for the Yankees-Rays series are as follows:
Friday - Matt Garza vs. Sidney Ponson
Saturday - James Shields vs. Mike Mussina
Sunday - Edwin Jackson vs. Carl Pavano (Our final trip to the Stadium)
The Rays will get a lift offensively with the return of Evan Longoria from the 15-day DL.
The pitching probables for Blue Jays-Red Sox:
Friday - David Purcey vs. Tim Wakefield
Saturday(1) - A.J. Burnett vs. Paul Byrd
Saturday(2) - Jessie Litsch vs. Bartolo Colon
Sunday - Roy Halladay vs. Jon Lester
Burnett, Litsch, and Halladay will each be pitching on three day's rest.
In the AL Central/wildcard race, the Twins travel to Baltimore for a three game series with the Orioles. The White Sox host the Tigers in a three game series at home.