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Game #42 Preview: Garcia vs Syndergaard

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Blue Jays (21-20) vs Mets (19-18)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays head to New York to take on the Mets for two games. The first of those two games gets underway tonight at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Jaime Garcia gets the start for tonight’s game, looking to right the ship that all Jays’ starters are on. Through his first 7 games, Garcia is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA. His FIP is 5.91, but his xFIP is at least a run below that at 4.92. He is giving up a lot of walks and home runs, but is also at least striking guys out. But he hasn’t been doing what has made him successful in the past, which is inducing ground balls. His career rate is 55.8%, and his previous career low was 53.6%. He’s at 42.0% so far as he seems to be trying to combat the flyball revolution by throwing up in the zone like so many other pitchers around baseball. It isn’t working.

Mets’ Starter

“The one that got away” starts for the Mets. Noah Syndergaard is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA through his first 8 games this season. After missing most of last year, he has gotten right back to where he left off, as his K/9 (10.42) and BB/9 (1.93) are at their ridiculously good levels, a few points off his career average.

I really don’t want to write too many words on Syndergaard. Our collective hearts hurt that he’s not in our rotation, but we have to live with it.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The Blue Jays play “traditional” baseball for the first time season, which means we get to watch the atrocity that is pitchers batting. It’ll be painful, Buck will make some old timey comments, and we’ll be happy that this is only a 2 game series.

But this is probably the right time for the Jays to go without a DH, because ours isn’t hitting a whole lot better than a pitcher anyway, and there is no spot for Gibby to write his name in the lineup this way.

The rest of the lineup will be interesting to see. Anthony Alford was optioned after Sunday’s game, which means we currently have a bench that would normally consist of Kendrys Morales, Gio Urshela and Luke Maile. No backup outfielder, which is a problem with Granderson needing a platoon bat.

Mets’ Lineup

Asdrubal Cabrera is off to a great start, hitting .329/.376/.552, good enough for a 155 wRC+ in a team leading 157 PA.

Offseason signings Todd Frazier (118 wRC+) and Adrian Gonzalez (105) join outfielders Yoenis Cespedes (114) Brandon Nimmo (160 in 73 PA) and the aforementioned Cabrera as the Mets group of above average hitters.

Collectively, the non-pitchers on the Mets have a 99 wRC+, just a smidge below league average. Add in the “heavy” hitting Syndergaard (career 54 wRC+, but he’s a pitcher, so that’s a high number), and today is probably the best hitting team the Mets will have.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Niko Goodrum of the Tigers went 2-4, but his 2 hits were home runs, so we’ll call him our monster hitter.

Andrew Heaney of the Angels gets the Pitcher of the Day and WPA King awards. He went 8 innings against the Astros, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 10 as his Angels eked out the 2-1 win. His WPA for the game was .450.

Milestone Watch

Josh Donaldson still needs 1 walk to tie Ed Sprague for 20th as a Blue Jay, and 3 more home runs to tie Shawn Green for 13th as a Blue Jay. He did get his 100th double as a Blue Jay the other day though.

Find the Link

Find the link between Syndergaard and the last man to throw a no hitter against the Jays (this is probably the saddest FTL ever).