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Game #90 Preview: Stroman vs Teheran

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Blue Jays (41-48) vs Braves (50-39)

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays head to Atlanta for a short 2 day stopover to take on the Braves. Game 1 gets underway tonight at 7:35 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marcus Stroman looks to rebound from a rough start his last time out. He had been looking great since coming back from the DL, having 2 great starts (2 runs, just 1 earned, over 12 innings) before falling apart against the Mets last Wednesday. In that start, he struggled with the strikezone as bad as ever, walking 4 over 4.2 innings. He ended up surrendering 6 runs on 6 hits, and only managed to strikeout 2.

Stroman’s 2018 is quickly becoming a lost year, both through injuries and ineffectiveness. Outside of the control issues this year, he is also getting hit super hard. He has one of the worst average exit velocities against this year, currently sitting at 91.2 mph, one of the highest marks of the Statcast Era (since 2015). With all the walks and hard hit balls, a 6.50 ERA through 10 starts almost seems like it might be good.

Braves’ Starter

Julio Teheran, the second longest serving Brave, gets the ball for game 1. Through 17 starts this year, he has struggled to a 4.47 ERA, right in line with the 4.49 number he put up through his 32 starts last year. Once touted as a frontline arm after 221 innings of 2.89 ERA baseball in 2014, Teheran has pitched to a 3.99 ERA since the start of the 2015 season. He has looked like more of a solid mid-rotation arm, although he at least has thrown the 11th most innings of baseball in that stretch.

Teheran is facing a season of extremes in 2018. He has struck out a career high 8.45 batters per 9 innings, but he has also walked a career high 4.37 batters per 9. Couple that with a 1.65 HR/9 rate, and he has a very ugly 5.22 FIP. There is a legitimate chance that Atlanta, looking to make a run to get to the Postseason and deep into the playoffs, may not keep Teheran in his spot in the rotation.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Playing in Atlanta removes the DH spot, so we will probably see both Kendrys Morales and Curtis Granderson on the bench.

I hope that Lourdes Gurriel gets to keep making starts, and maybe this would be the time to get him a start at SS and slide Diaz over to 3B. With Stroman on the mound, it would likely give the Jays their best defensive infield, which might be smart.

Braves’ Lineup

Rookie sensation Ronald Acuña Jr. was on the DL the last time the Jays faced the Braves, and he spent this past weekend recuperating from a strained groin. Kris Willis thinks that Acuña will be back for today’s game at least.

Elsewhere around the lineup, Ozzie Albies, Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman are 3 of the best players in the NL this year, and join Mike Foltynewicz as the Braves 4 representatives on the All Star Game roster. Markakis and Freeman earned the start, which is especially remarkable for the 34 year old Markakis, making his All Star game debut in his 13th season.

Yesterday’s Heroes

At the time of this writing, there were still 2 games ongoing, so if the winners of these awards prove not to be the deserving winners, they still are because they didn’t play on the west coast.

Scott Schebler of the Reds went 4-5 with a home run, helping overtake Cleveland 7-5 and earn the Monster Bat award.

Danny Duffy threw 6 shutout innings against the Twins, providing .399 WPA for the Royals and earning the WPA King title, but the Royals bullpen took the loss in the 3-1 game.

Aaron Nola of the Phillies takes home the Pitcher of the Day award. He threw 7 shutout innings, striking out 10 and allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk as the Phillies took game 2 of the double header against the Mets 3-1.

Milestone Watch

Marcus Stroman makes his 100th career start today! Congrats Marcus!

Find the Link

Find the link between Teheran and Avisaíl García.