Blue Jays’ Starter
Aaron Sanchez gets the ball, looking to continue the run of consecutive quality starts put up by the rotation (we’re up to 3, and that feels like it should be some sort of record). On the season, Sanchez is 2-4 with a 4.07 ERA. His high groundball rate is helping him keep the ball in the yard, as he is allowing 1 HR every 11 innings or so. And thank goodness for that, because he’s allowing 5.53 BB/9 while only getting 6.83 K/9.
Sanchez is coming off a strange but ultimately good outing. If the goal of every starting pitcher is to first and foremost not allow runs (which I don’t know why it wouldn’t be), then 5 shutout innings is a pretty good start. And to do it on 2 hits is a good way to get there. But Sanchez walked 5 batters, which is a very troubling trend for him, as it was the third time in his last 4 starts that he walked at least a batter an inning. Also listed under “troubling” in the walk department, in half of his starts this year (5 of his 10), he has walked more batters than he has struck out.
Red Sox Starter
The Sox counter with David Price, who is 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA. Price’s season started great, throwing back to back 7 shutout innings against the Rays. But then he developed numbness in his finger tips (which the media claims is from playing too much Fortnite) and he started sucking. After getting walloped by the Rangers at the beginning of May, rookie Red Sox skipper Alex Cora skipped Price’s turn in the rotation to get him back on track. And it did the trick (or maybe playing the Jays righted his ship). In the 3 starts since then, Price has gone 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA, striking out 23 in his 20.1 innings. I was hoping for struggling, game addicted Price today. But I don’t think we’re getting him.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jays make some moves before the game today, as that seems to be a fun thing to do. But there’s a chance they just run with what they have.
With the Jays scheduled to face lefties in 4 of the next 5 games, I would really like it if there was a right handed platoon bat for Granderson. Grichuk is 2-6 with 5 walks in 3 rehab games, but they’ve all been in Dunedin, so it doesn’t seem like he’ll be activated today.
I would imagine now that we’re back to normal baseball, Kendrys Morales will be at DH, although pretty much everyone would rather he wasn’t. Maybe they’ll work it today to let Donaldson DH and get Solarte and Travis into lineup as well.
Red Sox Lineup
They’re first in the Majors in batting average (.264) and second in runs scored (5.26 per game). So they’re going to be tough. Not a surprise to anyone.
One surprising thing they did, is that they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment last week in order to make room for Dustin Pedroia coming off the DL. It was likely down to either Ramirez or Blake Swihart to get the DFA treatment. So instead of departing with one of the most intermittently used players in the league, they went with one of the most overpaid players in league. Neither choice was a bad one.
Now that Pedroia is back, it likely means less playing time for other infielders, specifically Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt. Both will still play a fair bit, cycling around the field to get starts, but Devers-Bogaerts-Pedroia-Moreland is their best infield.
Speaking of Brock Holt, he’s 9-18 against the Jays this year, and 15-54 against everyone else.
Michael Brantley put up a .446 WPA in Cleveland’s wild 10-9 win over the Astros to claim WPA King. He was one of 7 players in that game with at least a .294 WPA. Such a wild and crazy game, with a fun WPA graph.
Josh Donaldson needs 3 home runs to catch Shawn Green for... whatever place Green is at on the all time Blue Jays home run list. It has been too long. 13th maybe?
Donaldson is 1 walk back of Otto Velez for 18th all time as a Blue Jay. And he’s 9 hits back of 500 for his Blue Jay career, and 900 for his big league career.
Find the Link
Find the link between Price and the stolen base king.