Don't look now, but the Yankees are climbing out of the A.L. East basement. And fast.
That makes its series this week against the Toronto Blue Jays particularly inviting. Yet ticket prices for the three-day set, which starts Tuesday evening, are low. A fan can sit in the bleachers Thursday afternoon, the final game of the series, for just $9.
The Yankees have momentum. They completed a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics to close a West Coast trip this weekend. The Yankees started their journey in last place, five games under .500, but now sit in third place at 21-22.
That is just a half-game ahead of the last-place Blue Jays, who are 20-22. The teams have encountered different problems. Until recently, the Yankees' hitting has been suspect, while the Blue Jays' pitchers have struggled all season.
In the first game, the Yankees' Nathan Eovaldi will start against the Blue Jays' ageless knuckballer R.A. Dickey. Yankees tickets in the centerfield bleachers run as low as $17 for Tuesday's game, while seats in other areas of the stadium cost as little as $21.
Eovaldi (4-2, 4.44 ERA) relinquished just one hit over six innings in his last outing. Dickey (2-5, 4.50 ERA) has been knocked around all season, and the Blue Jays have won just two of his nine starts.
Ivan Nova pitches Wednesday and will face the Blue Jays' Marco Estrada. Tickets for this game will start at $17 and $21 for the bleachers and upper level seats, respectively.
Nova (3-1, 3.26 ERA) has allowed just one earned run in each of his last three starts, and has generated a 66.7% ground ball percentage this season -- a good sign for the sinker-balling pitcher. Yet he has yet to pitch past the sixth inning.
The final game will pit C.C. Sabathia against Aaron Sanchez. It will serve as the cheapest game of the series. Tickets will start at just $9 in the outfield bleachers. Upper level seating will cost as low as $11.
May has been a kind month for Sabathia (3-2, 3.41 ERA), who has allowed just one run in his last two starts while lowering his ERA from 5.06 in late April. Sabathia is on a comeback after going into rehab last year for alcoholism. He pitched poorly earlier in the spring, raising doubts about his future.
Sanchez (4-1, 3.20 ERA) has been one of the few bright spots in the Blues Jays' starting rotation, taking his first and only loss of the season on April 22 against the Athletics.
The Yankees' offense has been criticized for its lack of production, but rebounded in Oakland. The Yankees outscored the Athletics, 22-9.
The Blue Jays, who reached the American League Championship League series, have had a head-scratching start to 2016. But the team has a potent lineup and won nine of 10 games at Yankee Stadium on its way to its first divisional title since 1993.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.