It’s time for the revamped 2015 edition of the Toronto Blue Jays to prove themselves not only in the AL East but in the entire MLB as well.Heading into Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Jays currently trail the New York Yankees by 1 game. Tuesday’s game is also the first of a two game series with the Phillies and an eight game road trip in an 11 day span.

The Jays have one of the hardest remaining schedules in the league. It includes nine games in a row against teams that are currently chasing the Jays for one of the two AL Wild Card spots. If there is a saving grace for the Jays as they open up their road trip, it would come against the worst team in baseball in the Phillies tonight and tomorrow.

But what are the keys to success for the Jays as they try to win both games of this series?

Since beginning the season 2-10, RA Dickey has been dominant. Dickey is currently on a five game winning streak, lowering his ERA nearly two pointsfrom 5.53 to 3.96 during the streak while going at least six innings in each of the games. In his three starts so far in August, Dickey has a 1.80 ERA and two wins to show for it. A reason Dickey is showing more success, could be the reason that he is throwing more strikes. Although Dickey’s fastball tops at around 70 MPH, once he finds a way to mix it in with his knuckleball, it proves hard for so many hitters to hit. Dickey takes the ball in Game one against Aaron Nola who goes for the Phillies.

The young 22-year-old Nola has been good so far this season, going 3-1 with a 4.25 ERA and 23 strikeouts in his 29.2 innings pitched. Since coming to the Jays in the deadline blockbuster, Troy Tulowitzki is only batting .219 but has been stellar defensively. Perhaps an Interleague series where he gets the opportunity to hit against the NL where he had a .300 BA (batting average) is just what Tulo needs to shape back into form.

First pitch for that one is 7:07.

Game two will feature one of the Jays most consistent pitchers in Mark Buerhle against the Phillies Adam Morgan. Buerhle comes into the game with a 13-5 record and a 3.31 ERA (earned run average) Buerhle also comes in with the hot hand winning four of his last five games including a two game winning streak going seven innings in both contests.

For the Phillies, Morgan has been mediocre this seasonwitha record of 3-4. Morgan has only gone six innings or more five times in his nine starts and has given up 23 earned runs, eight of those being in the last three contests where he last lost two of three.

For the Jays, it’s overall simple. Jump on a team who is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and get two wins. With the Yankees taking on a struggling Minnesota Twins team, it’s likely that they will win that series so for the Jays to stay as close as they are now, wins are mandatory. After this series, the Jays will go to Anaheim for three games and finish up their trip nine days from now against the Texas Rangers.

All of the Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts can be seen on Sportsnet or listen live on Sportsnet 590 the fan and TSN 1290 with the first pitch going at 7:10 eastern.

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