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Game #61 Preview: Gray vs Gaviglio

Yankees (39-18) vs Blue Jays (26-34)

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays look to earn the split against the Yankees this evening. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Sam Gaviglio has made a nice transition into the Jays’ rotation. Through his first 3 starts, he is 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA, while pitching 5.1 innings, 6 innings and 6 innings in each of his starts. He’ll be in tough against a strong Yankees’ team this evening, but he does the possess the ability to make it through. Hopefully he succeeds.

The question surrounding Gaviglio right now is what happens when Marcus Stroman returns from the DL. Stroman might only be a week or two away from returning, and if the Jays’ pitchers’ health miraculously holds up, he might be out of the rotation. It’ll likely either be down to him or BP fastball Garcia, although we’re a long way from that decision.

Yankees’ Starter

Diminutive righty Sonny Gray gets the ball for the Yankees. He has struggled so far this season, going 4-4 with a 5.50 ERA. He is walking batters at a career high rate while struggling to keep the ball on the ground like he normally does. The velocity and the strikeouts are still there, right around his career averages, but the command is obviously not.

He has faced the Jays twice this season. Through 7.1 innings, he has allowed 6 runs on 12 hits, with 7 walks and 8 strikeouts. That looks like the kind of line that should have allowed a lot more runs, as batters hit .364/.475/.515 off him, but such is Blue Jays baseball. The Blue Jays did win both of those games at least.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

It’ll be interesting to see who Gibby sits to get Granderson back in the lineup. I can’t imagine it’s anyone but Grichuk, but maybe there is an opportunity to rest a Pillar or Smoak or Morales.

Otherwise, I’m not sure we’ll see any changes. Russell Martin has caught 2 straight games (albeit around an off day) so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sit this one out. Which means Luke Maile (#DeliverTheMaile) will probably get the start in this one.

Yankees’ Lineup

After getting the night off last night, Aaron Judge will likely be back in right field and his normal #2 spot in the batting order.

Austin Romine might catch this one too. It makes me chuckle that two of the biggest “positional weaknesses” in the AL East that fans and pundits were harping on in the offseason, the backup catcher spot for the Yankees and Blue Jays, have resulted in 2 of 9 catchers in all of baseball with at least 1 WAR to this point. Seems like baseball is hard to predict or something.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Freddie Freeman went 4-4 with a home run, a pair of doubles and walk to earn our Monster Bat award. He scored 3 and drove in 2 as his Braves walloped the Padres in San Diego 14-1.

Eduardo Escobar of the Twins had a pair of big games yesterday to earn the WPA King award. In game 1 he was 3-4 with 2 runs, including an RBI double in the 8th that brought the Twins to within 3 with runners on second and third, but the White Sox would strand the runners and hold on to win game 1 by that 6-3 score. In game 2, Escobar was 2-4, hitting a big 3-run home run in the bottom of the 8th, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead and eventual win. His WPA marks were .217 and .562, giving him a total of .779 for the day, just edging out...

Andrew Heaney of the Angels, who went the distance in a 1-0 win over the Royals and put up a .731 WPA while doing so. Celebrating his 27th birthday, he took that excitement and channeled it into a marvelous game, in which he allowed a single in the 5th as the only hit, plus a walk and a hbp while striking out 4 to easily win the Pitcher of the Day honours.

Milestone Watch

The appearance that was one short of tying Scott Downs didn’t go so well for Aaron Loup last night. But nonetheless, he’s still now just 1 appearance back of Scott Downs for 8th as a Blue Jay.

Find the Link

Find the link between Gray and the man who started against the Padres on Jackie Robinson Day.