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Game #73 Preview: Sanchez vs Happ

Braves (43-29) vs Blue Jays (33-39)

Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After a laugher of a loss last night, MLB turns up the suck on the Blue Jays and forces interested people into watching on Facebook for the final game a short series against the Braves. Today’s game gets underway at 12:37 ET, and can be found approximately here if you have sold your life to Facebook and have an account. Otherwise, tune in to the radio, where the commentary is much better, and you won’t miss any action!

Blue Jays’ Starter

J.A. Happ looks to continue to showcase himself to the Major League teams who are interested in adding starting pitching, which is pretty much every team that wants to go to the playoffs. Happ is in the last year of his contract, and is already drawing interest from teams like the Yankees and Mariners.

And they should be interested in the lefty. Through 14 games, Happ is 8-3 with a 3.48 ERA, striking out a career high 10.23 batters per 9 innings. And he’s been even better over his last half dozen starts, going 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA, although the strikeouts are down to just 38 over 37.2 innings.

Braves’ Starter

Aníbal Sánchez gets the ball for the Braves, looking to continue a resurgent season. Through 6 starts and a relief appearance, the veteran righty is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA. The FIP isn’t as promising, sitting at 4.17, but it is still the best it has been since 2014 when he was still a dominant pitcher with the Tigers.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

It should be posted within the next hour or so, and I will try to get it into the comments when it’s up.

I’m expecting Kendrys Morales to be in this one. In 34 career plate appearances against Sánchez, Morales is hitting .323/.382/.484, numbers that are probably too good for Gibby to ignore. I’m not sure what that means for the rest of the roster though, as Granderson should also be in there as well. Maybe the Jays give Pillar a day off in CF and slide Grichuk over while Grandy starts in RF.

Russell Martin will be back behind the plate for this one.

I wouldn’t be opposed to Lourdes Gurriel getting the start a SS today either. Aledmys Diaz has played every game since he came back from his ankle injury on June 1, has struggled to hit with any consistency, and is missing the power that defined the first part of his season offensively.

Braves’ Lineup

They didn’t disappoint yesterday, knocking out 11 runs on 14 hits, with most of the damage from the bottom of the lineup. Suzuki-Culberson-Inciarte-Camargo went a combined 11-18 with 5 doubles and 2 home runs, scoring 10 of the runs and driving in 9.

That just goes to show the depth that this lineup has, being able to score 11 without much assistance from their bigger bats in Albies, Markakis and Freeman.

They’ll be a fun team to watch throughout the summer, and I hope they are able to take the NL East.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Johan Camargo’s big game against the Jays gets him the Monster Bat award. He went 4-5 with a grand slam, while also chipping in a double and driving in 5 in the 11-4 drubbing.

Kyle Farmer hit a pinch hit 2-out, 2-run double in the top of the 9th to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead that Kenley Jansen didn’t relinquish as the Dodgers beat the Cubs. His .678 WPA gets him the WPA King title.

Sal Romano of the Reds threw 7 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits, earning the Pitcher of the Day award. The bullpen surrendered 5 in the 9th, but Joey Votto and company put up 9 before that, and the Reds held on to beat the Tigers.

Milestone Watch

Happ takes his second crack at catching Kelvim Escobar for 9th on the franchise win list at 58.

Happ is also 7 strikeouts back of Todd Stottlemyre for 10th in franchise history at 662.

Find the Link

Find the link between Sánchez and Big Papi.