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Game #66 Preview: Gaviglio vs Yarbrough

Blue Jays (30-35) vs Rays (29-35)

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After a fun and exciting four game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, the Blue Jays head down to the house of horrors in Tampa Bay to take on the Rays for 3 games. Tonight’s game starts at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Sam Gaviglio has been a treat for Blue Jays’ fans thus far. Through his 4 starts, Gaviglio is 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA. He has struck out 20 and walked 6, while giving up only 19 hits.

If you combine these numbers with his 2 relief appearances and a great start in Buffalo, his 2018 season is leaps and bounds better than any he has put up in the past. Whether this is a new path that he’s on or just a small blip on the radar is yet to be seen, but we will ride this wave until it ends.

Rays’ Starter

Ryan Yarbrough is the listed starter for this one. Most of his other appearances this year have come after the named starter is pulled after a couple innings, on purpose, to get to Yarbrough. He has 14 appearances this season, 3 of them being starts, and has thrown 58.2 innings. He is 4-2 with a 3.68 ERA, so he’s definitely being brought into winnable games for the Rays, and has been doing well in that situation. But the Rays are giving him the start this time around, his first in nearly a month, and he’s averaging over 6 innings per appearance since his last start.

He pitched in one game against the Jays thus far, and absolutely dominated. Through 5 innings of relief work, the Jays managed just a single off him, striking out 4 times and watching the Rays build a 4-1 lead while he was on the mound.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

It seems pretty clear that most days, regardless of who is pitching, Hernandez-Pillar-Grichuk is the outfield. I’m alright with that, so long as Granderson gets to DH against righties, which he seems to be doing fairly frequently as well. But today is a against a lefty, so Grandy will be on the bench anyway.

Today is probably the tipping point for Travis. He should either be in the lineup, or headed on the DL retroactively.

Rays’ Lineup

After trading away Steven Souza, Corey Dickerson and Evan Longoria and watching Logan Morrison walk away in Free Agency (4 of their best players last year), the Rays are actually slightly better offensively this year (101 wRc+, up from 98 last year).

Shortstop Daniel Robertson (131 wRC+) and first baseman/designated hitter CJ Cron (124 wRC+) are two of the biggest reasons why this team has been as successful offensively as they have been.

Joey Wendle is in a platoon at second base with Christian Arroyo, but Wendle is the lefty so we’ll see him in the lineup for this game before the Jays go with Garcia and Happ for the next two.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Curtis Granderson’s big day earns him the Monster Bat award. He went 4-5 with a home run, 2 doubles and a walk, driving in 6 runs as he helped us win 13-3.

The reigning World Series MVP was clutch again last night, as George Springer collected a .546 WPA to claim our WPA King title. After starting the game with a home run for the 322nd time in his career (.090 WPA), he added a mid inning single to help boost his WPA (.016). But the defining moment for Springer in this one was the top of the 9th. He walked to lead off the inning (.082 WPA), moved to second on a wild pitch (.086), moved to third on a sac fly (not his WPA), and then scored on a 2 out balk (.310). #RangersBaseball. That was ultimately the winning run in the Astros 8-7 win over the Rangers.

Seth Lugo of the Mets threw 6 shutout innings, surrendering 2 hits while walking none, and striking out 8 along the way to win the Pitcher of the Day award.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup is 4 appearances short of Jim Clancy for 7th all time as a Blue Jay.

Find the Link

Find the link between Yarbrough and the Athletic with the amazing mustache.