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Game #31 Preview: Red Sox @ Blue Jays

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays will attempt to build on their impressive display last night when they face up against Joe Kelly this afternoon for the second time in two weeks. Opposing Kelly on the mound will be Drew Hutchison, who will be attempting to get his season on track after some volatile starts recently. After last night's drubbing, the Red Sox fell to 13-16 and the team is in serious trouble of dropping a ton of games during this early stretch of the season where their starting pitching has been horrid. Meanwhile the Blue Jays have got a few strong outings from their hurlers recently and will be looking to their Opening Day starter to continue the trend.

Since we last saw Joe Kelly things got....pretty bad. In the first preview we highlighted that he had pitched two strong outings to start the season and then one bad one against Tampa Bay. He proceeded to give up five runs to the Blue Jays, despite ten strikeouts, and then in his last start he also allowed five runs to the Yankees in an even less impressive start.

The righty relies on his sinker to get ground balls and this season it just hasn't been happening like it used to for him. His years in St. Louis saw him with GB%'s of over 50%, which has fallen to 42.5% in his five starts this season. Obviously he's getting a good number of strikeouts (25.6%) so we'll see if his ERA of 5.72 begins to fall back towards his 3.75 FIP. It doesn't help the poor guy has only faced American League East teams in his starts this year, with two coming against the Yankees and one appearance against each of the other three squads.

David Ortiz should return to the lineup from suspension tonight which will help the Red Sox a fair bit, although he's been lacking his usual power lately hitting only singles and doubles in the last two weeks. It's likely that the zero the Blue Jays were able to stick on the scoreboard against Boston last night will not stay up for the length of today's game as well.

Hopeful Lineup

  1. Devon Travis 2B
  2. Josh Donaldson 3B
  3. Jose Bautista DH
  4. Edwin Encarnacion 1B
  5. Russell Martin C
  6. Kevin Pillar CF
  7. Michael Saunders (hopefully?) LF
  8. Ryan Goins SS
  9. Ezequiel Carrera RF

Bullpen Usage

Looks like a pretty well-rested bullpen, which could be fully needed in relief of Drew Hutchison tonight. In a close game, Brett Cecil and Roberto Osuna are good to go while Ryan Tepera and Jeff Francis are available if there's a more lopsided scoreline. Liam Hendriks will probably make an appearance sometime during this game unless John Gibbons actually forgot about him existing on his baseball team.


Brett Cecil

Three Days Ago: 1.0 IP, 15 pitches
Five Days Ago: 1.0 IP, 10 pitches

Steve Delabar

One Day Ago: 1.0 IP, 14 pitches
Four Days Ago: 1.0 IP, 14 pitches

Jeff Francis Four Days Ago: 1.1 IP, 20 pitches
Liam Hendriks A long time ago (seven days)
Aaron Loup

One Day Ago: 1.0 IP, 12 pitches
Three Days Ago: 0.2 IP, 16 pitches

Roberto Osuna

Three Days Ago: 2.1 IP, 27 pitches

Ryan Tepera Three Days Ago (Buffalo): 2.1 IP, 24 pitches

Find The Link

Find the link between Joe Kelly and the Minnesota Twins backup catcher during the 1994 season.

Enjoy the game! Weather looks a little up in the air but the dome could possibly be open.