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Game #56 Preview: Gaviglio vs Rodriguez

Blue Jays (25-30) vs Red Sox (38-17)

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After a second straight 8-3 loss, the Blue Jays will fight to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Red Sox this afternoon. The first pitch for this one is at 1:05 ET, so don’t feel bad if you skip this one because you’re working, or really don’t want to watch the Blue Jays right now.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Sam Gaviglio takes his third turn in the rotation, originally making his way there in place of the temporarily injured Jaime Garcia, and then bumping Joe Biagini from the rotation because he was doing better than Joe.

Through his first two starts plus 2 relief appearances, Sammy G is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA across 15.2 innings. He has struck out 18, walked 4 and surrendered 2 home runs, giving him a 3.43 FIP. He has looked good, gotten good results, and has earned himself a few more starts at least. Hopefully if the Red Sox destroy him today, that doesn’t ruin the good will he’s built up.

Red Sox Starter

Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez makes his 11th start of the season for the Red Sox, and he’s off to a pretty good start to his season. He’s 5-1 with a 4.02 ERA, but is striking out batters at a 10.90 per 9 inning rate. His biggest problem this year is his struggles pitching deep in the game. He is averaging about 5.1 innings per start, and has only finished 6 innings 4 times this year, and required 104+ pitches to do it each time. His 18.9 pitches per inning are the second most in baseball, just behind Lance Lynn of the Twins.

Rodriguez faced the Jays once this season, his longest start and only time he’s gotten anybody out in the 7th inning. He went 6.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, as his Red Sox won 4-3. Yangervis Solarte touched him up for a home run in that game.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With another lefty on the mound, Gibbons might look to have Russell Martin in the outfield again. Oh joy.

Josh Donaldson will be taking the day off again, hoping to get his calf right and take advantage of the off day tomorrow before optimistically being reinserted into the lineup Friday in Detroit.

Both Devon Travis and Kendrys Morales had 2 hit games yesterday, and both have brought their OPS up to .599. Since returning from his optional assignment, Travis is hitting .350/.381/.650 (168 wRC+) but he’s doing so with a .462 BABIP and a 28.6% K rate. For Morales, he’s had a good 2 week stretch in which he’s hit .321/.345/.500 (129 wRC+).

Red Sox Lineup

Mookie Betts isn’t likely to be in this one either, so that’s good news. Not that they’ve missed him the first two games of this series though.

All 11 batters that have faced the Jays in this series have collected at least 1 hit, lead by Andrew Benintendi who yesterday completed his 2 day cycle. And amazingly they’ve only struck out 8 times all series.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Brett Gardner went 4-5 with a pair of home runs, scoring 2 and driving in 3 as his Yankees outlasted the Astros 6-5 in 10 innings, earning our Monster Bat award. His second home run of the game was a 1-out, 2 run home run in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up. That gave him a .638 WPA, and more importantly, our WPA King title.

Kyle Gibson and Jake Arrieta both threw 7 shutout innings, against the Royals and Dodgers respectively. The Royals are sucking more than the Dodgers, so I’ll give the Pitcher of the Day award to Arrieta, especially because the Dodgers had a pinch hitter in the pitcher’s spot each time. The Phillies beat the Dodgers 6-1.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup needs 3 more appearances to catch Scott Downs for 8th all time for Jays pitchers.

Find the Link

Find the link between Rodriguez and the last player to win back to back MVP awards.