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Game #8 Preview: Estrada vs Moore

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Blue Jays (4-3) vs Rangers (3-5)

After a well deserved off day, the Blue Jays hit the road for the first time this season, heading down to Globe Life Park in Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers. The game begins at 8:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marco Estrada is coming off a decent start against the Yankees last Saturday, where he struck out 2 over 7 innings while allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. The unfortunate part about that start is that 2 of the 4 hits were home runs, as Tyler Austin seemed to have his number that night.

In true Marco Estrada style, he also induced 4 popups to help limit the damage. After exiting the game in a 3-3 tie, Estrada watched from the bench as the Jays scored a pair of runs in the 8th inning (you may remember Solarte’s home run, or maybe Pillar stealing a few bases) as the Jays went on to win their first game of the season.

Estrada made 2 starts against the Rangers last year. In the first, he went 6 innings while allowing 1 run on 4 hits and striking out 8 as the Jays won 3-1 at home on May 27th. He followed that up a few weeks later in Arlington on June 19, going 3.2 innings while allowing 6 runs on 7 hits, striking out 4. He ran into trouble in that one after getting 2 outs in the 4th, ultimately allowing 5 runs that inning and being pulled after an Adrian Beltre 3 run double. The Jays would go on to win 7-6, but I’d still rather Marco pitch like he did in the first one.

Rangers’ Starter

Matt Moore is making his second start as a Ranger. He took the loss last Saturday against the Astros, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits. He allowed 2 home runs, but also struck out 6 and didn’t walk a batter.

The left handed Moore is a Fastball/Curveball/Changeup pitcher who induces a lot of fly balls, and battles control problems from time to time. When he’s on, he is a pretty tough pitcher to hit, such as August 25, 2016 when Corey Seager broke up his no hitter with 2 outs in the 9th. But when he’s off, he’s hittable and wild, allowing a lot of walks and wild pitches.

He last faced the Jays 2 years ago to the day while still with the Rays. The Jays scored 3 runs on 5 hits over 5 innings, all 3 runs coming off a Josh Donaldson home run.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Aledmys Diaz is supposed to be healthy today. That being said, John Gibbons has also indicated that Yangervis Solarte will get the starts at SS when Estrada is on the mound. So stay tuned for that announcement!

With the lefty Matt Moore on the mound, look for Steve Pearce to get the start in LF.

Otherwise it should be a regular setup of rested Blue Jays after the off day yesterday.

Rangers’ Lineup

The Rangers went 1-3 vs the Astros, and then earned the split of a 4 game series against the Athletics.

Collectively, they have not hit well. Over their 8 games, they have scored a total of 24 runs with a slash line of .220/.280/.341 with 7 home runs.

There have been a few bright spots in their lineup, as Elvis Andrus, Nomar Mazara, Drew Robinson and Shin-Soo Choo are hitting a combined .320/.393/.520 with 5 of the home runs.

Outside of those 4, regulars Ryan Rua, Adrian Beltre, Joey Gallo and Robinson Chirinos are off to slow starts.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Maikel Franco of the Philadelphia Phillies went 3-4 yesterday with a home run and triple, driving in 4 as the Phillies beat the Marlins 5-0.

WPA King of the day goes to Victor Martinez of the Tigers, as he had a game tying double in the top of the 9th to help his Tigers go on to beat the White Sox 9-7 in 10 innings. That play boosted him to a .521 WPA on the day, as he also had a couple big singles earlier in the game too.

The Pitcher of the Day award goes to Boston Red Sox Fan Favourite David Price. Price pitched 7 shutout innings for the second time this year, but had to hang around a bit longer to watch his team get the win. The Red Sox scored 2 in the 9th to tie it, before walking it off on a Hanley Ramirez bases loaded single in the 12th to beat the Rays 3-2.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there a lot of extra inning games this season?

Milestone Watch

Roberto Osuna is still at 97 career saves at the moment, but 100 and Billy Koch are still on his horizon.

Steve Pearce picked up a hit on Wednesday, and is now 3 hits away from 500 for his career. There is a pretty good chance this happens this weekend, with lefty Matt Moore pitching today, lefty Mike Minor going to the mound tomorrow, and the series finishes off with lefty Cole Hamels.

Marco Estrada is 18 strikeouts short of 1000 for his career. I would love for this to be reached today, but that’s more likely in one of his next two starts.

Find the Link

Find the link between the Rangers’ starting pitcher and the man who accompanied Carlos Gomez when he finally got out of Milwaukee.