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Game #46 Preview: Manaea vs Gaviglio

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Athletics (23-22) vs Blue Jays (22-23)

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Well, they’ve done it. After a loss to the A’s last night, the Blue Jays have fallen back below .500 for the first time since the third game of the season. They look to get back up to .500 this afternoon, and take game 3 of this 4 game series. The game gets underway at 1:07 ET, an early Saturday start time (in 2018 anyway).

Blue Jays’ Starter

This would normally have been Marcus Stroman’s spot in the rotation, but that has been taken by Joe Biagini. But with Jaime Garcia also going on the DL, the Jays have added Sam Gaviglio to the rotation, and he’ll be making his first start with the big league club today. He has made 5 starts in Buffalo, where he had 29 strikeouts and 4 walks in his 29 innings, pitching to a 1.84 ERA.

In his rookie season last year, Gaviglio went 4-5 with a 4.36 ERA while pitching for the Mariners and then the Royals. He surrendered a lot of home runs - 21.3% HR/FB rate, resulting in 16 home runs in his 74 innings - but he was able to at least limit the damage otherwise.

The right handed Gaviglio throws a sinker and slider, while also mixing in a 4-seamer, change and curve occasionally. He doesn’t throw hard (he was up over 90 out of the bullpen, but is generally in the upper 80s), but he does locate fairly well when he’s on.

Athletics’ Starter

The Athletics are sending their Ace to the mound in this one. Sean Manaea is off to a great 2018. Through his first 9 starts, he’s averaging nearly 7 innings per start, and is 5-4 with a 2.35 ERA. He has lopped his walk rate by more than half of his career mark (now 3.4% so far) while keeping his strikeout rate right at his career, league average level.

But his success may be a bit luck based. He has a .208 BABIP against, which is better than even Marco Estrada’s best year. Based on quality of contact, his .234 wOBA should be closer to .331, which is much closer to his numbers from last year, when he went 12-10 with a 4.37 ERA. If he can continue to stifle hitters, he will have a good season. But there are some flags for a pretty rough regression as well, so hopefully for our sake that starts this afternoon.

He also threw a no-hitter against the Red Sox on April 21.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The Blue Jays’ coaching staff must be watching the Royal Wedding or something, as their lineup still isn’t posted.

With the lefty Manaea on the mound, we usually see some sort of platoon, but we don’t have a backup right handed outfielder (although Randal Grichuk might be headed for a rehab assignment next week).

Kendrys Morales is likely the DH today, unless Josh Donaldson is there again and Gio Urshela (or Martin?) is at 3B.

Russell Martin should be behind the plate.

12 seconds after I hit post, the Jays’ lineup will be up on Twitter. I have to start working on breakfast for 16 people, so if someone sees the lineup, could you throw it in the comments please.

Athletics’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Jesus Aguilar went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, a single and a walk. His 3 RBI helped his Brewers to the 8-3 win over the Twins and earn him the Monster Bat award.

Dan Straily of the Marlins gets WPA King and Pitcher of the Day honours. He went 7 shutout innings, striking out 6 while surrendering 3 hits and 3 walks (1 intentional walk to Ender Inciarte before striking out Jose Bautista and getting a fly out to get out of the 4th inning bases loaded jam). His Marlins shut out the Braves 2-0, which is an impressive feat this year. Straily’s contributions added .441 WPA.

Milestone Watch

Josh Donaldson is still 3 home runs back of Shawn Green.

Sam Gaviglio’s 6 career strikeouts as a Blue Jay has him in a tie for 300th all time. One more will move him into a tie with former greats Matt Boyd and Pat Venditte. If he gets more (and man I sure hope he does), other names next on the list include Ramon Ortiz (8), Tom Bruno (9), Mat Latos (10), Robert Coello (11), Chad Gaudin (12), Felix Doubront (13) and Chien-Ming Wang (14). Some pretty big names to cross off the list.

Find the Link

Find the link between Manaea and the Detroit Tiger’s pitching coach.