The Blue Jays are looking pretty good these last few days and they try to keep it rolling tonight against the White Sox, who they completely shut down last night. Trying to follow up Drew Hutchison's stellar complete game performance is R.A. Dickey who will oppose John Danks on the mound. Yesterday in the preview I mentioned the White Sox having three starting pitchers with fairly strong FIPs, leaving two others (excluding Carlos Rodon) with numbers not quite as nice. Those two pitchers are Hector Noesi and John Danks.
Finally some good fortune for the Blue Jays who will avoid the big arms of the South Siders for the second straight day with Danks on the mound. The 6'1" starter has not been quite as bad as Noesi this season, but that's certainly no feat to be proud of. The lefty sports an ERA of 5.11 thanks in part to a ground ball rate of 33% that is nearly a full ten percentage points below his career average. This has led to an increase in home runs allowed and an all around bad time for the pitcher from Texas.
The White Sox signed Danks to an extension before the 2012 season (his final arbitration year) and he hasn't had a FIP below 4.75 or a fWAR above 0.5 since then. His fastball that used to hang in the low-90's is now lucky to exceed 89 mph, which has led to a decreases in its usage and a heavier reliance on the changeup. Problem is that the change hasn't been all that good this year either leading to a real issue for the southpaw. He stays around the plate with all his pitches and with the way the Blue Jays have been swinging the bats, this should be another winnable game for the team.
John Danks is pretty split-neutral but Danny Valencia and Steve Tolleson should still be in the lineup, which actually looks pretty good. If Ryan Goins plays today, there's some issues with John Gibbons. It also wouldn't hurt to leave Russell Martin in the lineup despite Dickey being on the mound.
- Jose Reyes SS
- Josh Donaldson 3B
- Edwin Encarnacion DH
- Russell Martin C
- Danny Valencia 1B
- Chris Colabello LF
- Kevin Pillar CF
- Steve Tolleson 2B
- Ezequiel Carrera RF
All these long outings by the starters are doing wonders for the bullpen, who is well-rested for tonight's game.