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Game #65 Preview: Cobb vs Estrada

Orioles (19-44) vs Blue Jays (29-35)

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After being given a shrimp from the Orioles last night, the Blue Jays go for the 4 game sweep this afternoon. Today’s game gets underway at 1:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marco Estrada looks to continue the Blue Jays’ impressive run from the starting pitching. Estrada himself contributed to this run with arguably his best start of the season his last time out against the Yankees. He allowed 1 run on 6 hits over 6 innings, striking out 6 and not allowing a home run or a walk. The run he allowed was left behind as the only batter he faced in the 7th inning. The Yankees ended up winning that game, as they torched the bullpen for 6 more runs off a pair of home runs.

On the season, Estrada is sitting at a 2-6 record with a 5.29 ERA. His biggest challenge this year remains the home runs and elevated BABIP, which really don’t seem to go together, especially when you look at his average exit velocity of 87.9 mph. The league average exit velocity is 88.1 mph, so Estrada is doing a good job overall inducing weak contact. But it moreso seems like he is inducing exceptionally weak contact (lazy popups, grounders back to the pitcher) to counter his hard hit ones.

Orioles’ Starter

The Orioles counter with their prized FA acquisition from this past winter. The O’s signed Cobb to a 4 year, $57m deal towards the end of Spring Training, also surrendering the 51st pick in the draft earlier this week.

Cobb has rewarded the Orioles with a 2-7 record and a 6.19 ERA. His strikeout rate is down to 5.50 per 9 innings, the 5th worst mark of any pitcher with at least 50 innings.

Things have looked a bit better for him lately, however, as he is coming off a pair of quality starts against NL East opponents. His last start was easily his best of the year, as he went 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk, while striking out a season high 7 Nationals. Considering Cobb signed so late in the offseason, it makes sense that his season was a bit slow to get going, but considering he’s now 10 starts in, he should be in mid-season form, which could still be a good pitcher.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

I wonder how long until they put Travis on the DL... I would imagine the corresponding move to that would be to activate Donaldson, because it seems like Hazel Mae at least thinks he is close enough to keep mentioning.

Orioles’ Lineup

I’m not really sure why the Orioles are so slow getting their lineup out. It would make this section much easier. I’ll try to throw it in the comments when it finally does get posted. It was after noon yesterday.

After striking out 3 times in the opener, Chris Davis hasn’t played in this series. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sitting again.

Yesterday’s Heroes

For the second day in a row, Paul Goldschmidt had 3 hits, including a pair of home runs. And for the second day in a row, he gets our Monster Bat award. In total, he went 3-4 plus a walk and HBP, scoring 3 times and driving in 4 as his Diamondbacks walloped the Rockies in Colorado again, this time 12-7.

Danny Duffy earned the WPA King award with a .499 WPA, helping his Royals to the 2-0 win over the Athletics. He allowed 3 hits and 3 walks over 7 shutout innings, but that was only good enough for one award tonight, because...

Jon Lester also threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 1 hit and 2 walks as the Cubs beat the Pirates 2-0, earning the Pitcher of the Day award.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup pitched yesterday, moving himself into sole possession of 8th place all time in appearances by a Blue Jays’ pitcher. Next up is Jim Clancy, 4 appearances away.

Marco Estrada is 5 strikeouts back of AJ Burnett for 19th all time in franchise history. He could very well get there today.

This will also be Estrada’s 103 start as a Blue Jay, moving him into a tie for 15th place with Doyle Alexander.

Find the Link

Find the link between Cobb and Jon Gray.