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Game #11 Preview: Happ vs Bundy

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Blue Jays (6-4) vs Orioles (4-6)

Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

The Blue Jays head to Baltimore to open a 3 game series in Charm City vs the Orioles. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

J.A. Happ gets the ball for the Blue Jays, making his third start of the season.

Happ struggled a bit in his last start, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk while striking out 9 over 5.1 innings. He still earned his first win (and 50th as a Blue Jay) though, as the offense was firing on all cylinders, ultimately beating the White Sox 14-5.

Home runs have been Happ’s biggest nemesis thus far, as he has allowed 3 in 10 innings, accounting for 4 of the 6 runs against him. He has allowed 8 fly balls total, but two of the home runs were absolutely crushed - the opening day HR against Giancarlo Stanton went 426 ft, while the home run to Avisail Garcia traveled 481 feet.

The Orioles are another power hitting team, so if Happ is going to have success tonight, he will have to have a little better control of the power game.

Orioles’ Starter

Perpetual breakout candidate Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles. He is coming off a pair of really good starts to kick off his 2018.

Given the honour of being Baltimore’s opening day starter, Bundy went 7 shutout innings against the Twins, allowing 5 hits and a walk while striking out 7.

In his second start, he held the Astros to 2 runs (1 earned) over 6 innings, while striking out 8 and walking a pair. He has yet to allow a home run this season.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Devon Travis and Russell Martin will be back in the lineup tonight after their scheduled off days yesterday.

Maybe I’m reading too much into Donaldson not busting it for an infield single yesterday, but I have a feeling we’ll see him at DH today, with Yangervis Solarte sliding over to 3B.

At some point in time, Randal Grichuk is going to get a day off to collect his thoughts, and today might be the day to do it. If that’s the case, Steve Pearce will get his 4th straight start in LF, while Curtis Granderson gets the start in RF.

Orioles’ Lineup

The Orioles have struggled a bit thus far, hitting a combined .210/.283/.353, good for a wRC+ of 80. In typical Orioles fashion, however, they have hit a dozen home runs in their 10 games, so the power is at least somewhat there.

Manny Machado (159 wRC+) and Adam Jones (122) are the only regulars who have done anything with the bat this season. On the bench, Pedro Alvarez (201) had a game winning grand slam against the Yankees the other day, and old friend Danny Valencia (121) is off to decent start. These 4 players comprise the entirety of Orioles with triple digit wRC+.

Yesterday’s Heroes

He has been putting up a ridiculously good season thus far, but hasn’t had a big game to earn of the honour of hitting monster. But since no one else really had a huge day either, I’m giving yesterday’s award to Bryce Harper. Harper went 3-4 with a home run and a pair of walks as the Nationals lost to the Mets in 12 innings. The Nats are 4-5 on the season, but not for a lack of trying on Harper’s part - the Major League leader in home runs has hit a home run in 3 of the team’s losses.

The WPA King was Austin Romine of the Yankees, who went 3-5 with 3 RBI, including a game tying 7th inning single and a leadoff walk in the 12 inning, but was ultimately cut down at home on a bases double play off the bat of Aaron Judge as the Yankees lost 8-7 to the Orioles.

Shohei Otani got all the headlines yesterday, carrying a perfect game into the 7th with 12 strikeouts. But he’s not yesterday’s pitcher of the day. That title goes to Jameson Taillon of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who twirled a 1-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out 7 and walked 2 (neither of which was Joey Votto, who flew out to LF to end the game).

Milestone Watch

Roberto Osuna picked up career save number 99 yesterday. I’m thinking it might be a pretty big deal once he reaches Billy Koch triple digits.

Steve Pearce hit another home run yesterday afternoon, and is now at 499 hits for his career.

Find the Link

Find the link between today’s Orioles starting pitcher and King James (not the guy who commissioned the 3rd English translation of the bible).