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Games #141 & #142 Preview: The Doubleheader Edition - Blue Jays @ Yankees

Nova and Pineda.
Nova and Pineda.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the questionable weather reports, there is a doubleheader scheduled for today with the original game going at 1:05 and the next one beginning half an hour after the completion of the first. The two pitchers starting for the Blue Jays will be Marcus Stroman, as I'm sure you're aware, and Marco Estrada who has been in fine form recently. It's all still a little bit up in the air, but it sounds like the plan is for Marco Estrada to start the 1pm game which is to be aired nationally on Fox while Stroman gets the 4:35 start with that game supposedly airing on MLB Network.

Opposing these two Jays hurlers will be Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, who have both had okay injury-shortened seasons.

In the first game, Michael Pineda will make his 23rd start of the year looking to better his 4.15 ERA and make it a little bit closer to his 3.10 FIP. The righty has never had a real chance to establish himself in the big leagues thanks to a list of injuries a mile long. He missed nearly all of August on the DL but he's back now, although he hasn't been the same Pineda that started the season. Since his return, the Dominican has allowed 10 earned runs in three starts (16.1 innings) which isn't quite what's expected of him. He completely dominated the Blue Jays this season in starts on April 8 and May 5, allowing just two runs in 14.0 innings.

Pineda throws his famous cutter over half of the time, which he picked up during his long rehab process from injuries over the course of 2012 and 2013. It comes in around 93 mph and has deceptive movement that throws off hitters on both sides of the plate. The pitch is paired with a slider which has more horizontal movement than the aforementioned cutter and is thrown about 7 miles per hour slower. The combination of pitches has propelled Pineda to a K-rate of 23.7%, while his solid control has him sitting with a BB-rate of just 3.2% (that's 18 walks all year).


In game two, Ivan Nova will get the ball in his 14th start of the season currently sitting at an ERA of 4.50 and a FIP of 4.68. The righty faced the Jays in back-to-back starts in August and allowed seven earned runs over 12.1 innings while striking out nine. He hasn't been all that great recently, allowing at least three earned runs in each of his last six starts (including the two against the Jays) while rarely pitching beyond the sixth inning.

The righty has more of a reliever's repertoire, just throwing a sinker and curveball most of the time. His curve has been okay this year but he hasn't struck out many hitters and it's hard to imagine he ever becomes anything more than he is right now, which is an okay arm at the back of the rotation. If you were to pick one pitcher out of Nova and Pineda that the Blue Jays will struggle against today, it most certainly has to be Pineda.

Since the lineups for the two games are going to have to be balanced to give players rest, it's tough to state any hopeful versions of them. What we do know is that Dioner Navarro will catch Marco Estrada, while Russell Martin will have the honour of catching Stroman's first appearance in a year.

The bullpen will obviously be worked today, but there's more guys in the Jays 'pen then there is on a crowded Bronx subway car so I think they'll be okay. Unfortunately they had to use some of their high-leverage guys last night thanks to the Gregorius home run.

Find The Link

Find the link between the day's two Yankee starters and the distance of highway that was opened according to this news report.

Enjoy the full wonderful day of baseball from New York assuming rain doesn't ruin things. This could be one of the most memorable doubleheaders in Blue Jays history if things go their way.