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Game #5 Preview: Blue Jays @ Orioles

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays look to continue their winning ways at Camden Yards tonight as Aaron Sanchez finally gets his season underway. Opposing Sanchez is Ubaldo Jimenez, who the Orioles surely are regretting inking to a four-year $50 million contract before the 2014 season. Aside from just being bad, he is also blocking former highly-ranked prospect Kevin Gausman from starting, although that could change real quick. If Baltimore fans want to look for any positives to hold onto in regards to Jimenez, then the fact that he had a solid spring should provide a small amount of optimism.

For Sanchez, it will be interesting to see his pitch mix as during his time with the Blue Jays last season he mainly chucked high 90's fastballs to great success. Now that the righty finds himself in the starting rotation he will have to use his curveball and changeup if he hopes to last more than once or twice through the lineup. Most of the Orioles know what to expect from Sanchez as he faced 22 batters wearing a Baltimore jersey in 2014.

Jimenez on the other hand throws a variety of pitches, but it essentially boils down to a fastball, slider, and splitter combination that at varied times during his career has been nearly (or literally) unhittable. The strikeout numbers have always been around the low 20% range, although last year he lost sight of the strike zone thanks to wonky mechanics, ending the season with a career-high 13.9% BB-rate. If he is able to find some command then his stuff is capable of becoming the starter he once was in Colorado and to a lesser extent in Cleveland.

The lineup of Baltimore is being carried by some unlikely names as Travis Snider is currently 6-13 with three walks and Alejandro De Aza is getting on base at an impressive clip as well. If the team hopes to get back on the right track then they'll be looking to their stars in Manny Machado and Chris Davis to start hitting as they are a combined 2-22 at this point.

Hopeful Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes SS
  2. Russell Martin C
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  5. Josh Donaldson 3B
  6. Justin Smoak 1B
  7. Kevin Pillar LF
  8. Devon Travis 2B
  9. Dalton Pompey CF

Bullpen Usage

Blue Jays

  • Yesterday: Liam Hendriks (1.0 IP, 14 pitches), Colt Hynes (1.0 IP, 13 pitches), Marco Estrada (1.0 IP, 19 pitches)
  • Two Days Ago: Roberto Osuna (1.1 IP, 26 pitches), Brett Cecil (1.0 IP, 14 pitches), Miguel Castro (1.0 IP, 15 pitches)
Orioles
  • Yesterday: Brad Brach (2.0 IP, 30 pitches), Jason Garcia (2.2 IP, 47 pitches), Wesley Wright (1.1 IP, 19 pitches)
  • Two Days Ago: Off Day

Find The Link

This is hard.

Find the link between Ubaldo Jimenez and the Jays first base platoon option against lefties.

Enjoy the game! It's been a swell start to the baseball season thus far.