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Game #82 Preview: Blue Jays @ Tigers

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers and Blue Jays tangle for the first time this season with an Independence Day weekend series in Detroit. The American League Central squad sits at .500 for the year and fields a team that you'd think would be sitting a little higher in the standings. The hitters have been pretty strong, with J.D. Martinez continuing his Bautista-esque breakout with 20 home runs this year in quiet fashion. Old friends Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis have been solid as a sort of center field platoon, both bringing their base straling skills to Michigan. Miguel Cabrera has been amazing once again, sitting at an OBP of .448 with 15 home runs.

On the mound, David Price has been strong as the team's new ace although he hasn't gotten much help from the rest of the rotation. Alfredo Simon is the only other starter with an ERA south of 4.00 and it's just 3.94 so the starters haven't been all that hot in 2015. The bullpen on the other hand has performed pretty well with a host of pitchers able to handle a high-leverage role.

The Jays will throw Drew Hutchison to the mound tonight against Anibal Sanchez in a matchup of pitchers who have fairly similar numbers this year. Anibal, the 31-year-old, is having his worst season in years and may end up with an ERA above 4.00 for the first time in just under a decade. At first glance, it looks like a massive increase in home runs allowed is the main reason for the uptick as his strikeout and walk numbers are still strong.

The Venezuelan throws a myriad of pitches including a four-seamer, sinker, cutter, slider, curveball, and changeup. The righty doesn't really blow the ball by anyone but his mix of a solid sinker with good breaking stuff allows him to get some solid strikeout totals year after year.

Hopeful Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes SS
  2. Josh Donaldson 3B
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  5. Russell Martin C
  6. Justin Smoak 1B
  7. Devon Travis 2B
  8. Kevin Pillar CF
  9. Ezequiel Carrera LF
At the time of this piece's writing, the corresponding bullpen moves haven't been announced for the roster moves after yesterday's game. Therefore, for the bullpen usage just assume that the only fresh pitchers are the two called up.

Find The Link

Find the link between Anibal Sanchez and the center fielder of the USA capital.

Enjoy the game and the post-game fireworks if you're in attendance!