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Game #84 Preview: Fiers vs Borucki

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Tigers (37-48) vs Blue Jays (39-44)

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays and Tigers finish their 4 game series this afternoon, with the rare Monday matinee game thanks to Canada Day long weekend. Gametime is 1:07 ET.

It is also J.A. Happ bobble head day (although it felt like that yesterday too)

Blue Jays’ Starter

Ryan Borucki is making his second career start. The rookie left hander made his debut last week in Houston, and although he took the loss, he had a solid start. Working against the most lefty killing lineup in baseball, Borucki fought through 6 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits. The strikeouts (3) and walks (4) didn’t look good, but everything else about his start did.

I’m excited to see how this one goes.

Tigers’ Starter

Veteran righty Mike Fiers gets the start for the Tigers. Through 15 starts, Fiers is 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA. Typically stingy on the walks, Fiers has been doing an even better job this year, limiting free passes at a career low rate of 2.02 per 9 innings. But he is also striking out batters at a career low rate, getting only 6.70 per 9 innings. And when you add that to his 16 home runs in 84.2 innings, and his FIP is an unhealthy 4.95.

Fiers is coming off a fantastic start against Oakland his last time out. Last Wednesday in Detroit, Fiers fired 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 5. But he also has 6 starts this season where he has allowed at least 4 runs, showing that some days he has it, some days he doesn’t. Hopefully today falls into the latter bucket.

Lineups

Yesterday’s Heroes

Aaron Hicks of the Yankees was a unanimous decision for Monster Bat, as he went 3-4 with 3 home runs and a walk yesterday in the Yankees’ 11-1 drubbing of the Red Sox.

Matt Kemp of the Dodgers gets the WPA King title. If you look at the WPA graph of the Dodgers 6-4 win over the Rockies, you see three plays that are highlighted as the biggest of the game - a Kemp double in the 3rd, a Kemp single in the 5th and a Kemp home run in the 8th. In total, he drove in 4 big runs and was worth .609 WPA on the day.

James Paxton had his second best start of the season yesterday. He threw 8 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 11. That was enough to earn him the Pitcher of the Day award, as his Mariners held on to the 1-0 win over the Royals.

Find the Link

Find the link between Fiers and Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.