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Game #96 Preview: Bundy vs Gaviglio

Orioles (28-69) vs Blue Jays (43-52)

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

After what feels like forever, the Blue Jays are finally back in action to kick off the second half of the season. The Orioles are in town for a 3 game set this weekend, with tonight’s game starting at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Sam Gaviglio makes the start for the Jays once again. It will be his 3rd start in 6 team games working around the All Star Break. His start in Game 91 didn’t go so well, as he gave up 6 runs in just 1.2 innings against the Braves. But his low pitch count allowed him to come back out for another start in Game 94, and he did much better. He held Boston to 1 run on 4 hits over 3.1 innings, an expected abbreviated start on short rest. But now in Game 96 he is back to normal rest, so hopefully he can go a bit longer.

Orioles’ Starter

The Orioles have tabbed Dylan Bundy to kick off the second half. On the season, Bundy is 6-9 with a 4.35 ERA through his first 18 starts and 103.1 innings. He is striking out a lot of batters (9.84 per 9 innings), which is very easily a career high. And the walks are looking good too, at 2.96 per 9 innings, a little bit better than his career mark. But what’s not looking good is the home runs, 20 in his 103.1 innings. That is good for 1.74 per 9, which is the 3rd highest mark among qualified starters in baseball.

Bundy has faced the Jays just once this year, way back in mid-April. He went 7 innings, striking out 10 against just 2 walks, and allowed a pair of runs on 4 hits. Steve Pearce hit a home run to give the Jays their only runs against Bundy, but it was enough because only a Manny Machado home run happened on the Orioles’ offensive side. And then in the 9th inning, Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam, which was then followed by the now infamous “what are you gonna do now, Buck?” exclamation from the stands.

Baseball was fun in April.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

There are going to be some roster moves prior to the game today. When we last saw the Jays before the break, they played a game with just 2 bench players and 11 bullpen members. There are obviously changes coming.

If you don’t remember, Kevin Pillar and Lourdes Gurriel went on the DL shortly before the break. That means that Randal Grichuk will likely be making the starts in CF going forward. Curtis Granderson will probably draw the start in RF, while Teoscar Hernandez will be in LF. Dwight Smith Jr will likely be relegated to bench duties against righties going forward.

Solarte-Diaz-Travis seem set to be the main infield guys while Gurriel is out with his concussion. This is also one of the places where a player will be added to the bench. I would think that Richard Urena will be up with the big league club, as he is the only middle infielder on the 40 man roster in the Minors.

Orioles’ Lineup

The post-Machado era begins tonight for the Orioles. And they were a pretty terrible team with him. Now the team that was just barely second last in runs per game (3.56, just ahead of the Royals at 3.55) has to trudge forward without the only offensive player on their team that has put up at least 0.5 WAR this year. Machado was also one two players with a wRC+ over 100, as the other one is Mark Trumbo at 107.

Chris Davis continues his assault on the record books. His -2.4 WAR has now moved him into a tie for the 20th worst season in MLB history. His pace has slowed from earlier this season, and getting down to the Major League record of ineptitude of -4.0 WAR doesn’t seem as attainable for him anymore. And there’s always the chance that this is his low mark. $23m doesn’t buy what it used to.

Outside of Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones probably represents the next biggest threat in the batters box. He’s also likely looking to get out of town, hoping that some team in contention will scoop him and his 95 wRC+ up to take with them on a playoff hunt. The 32 year old should-no-longer-be-center-fielder hits the open market this fall. The once solid defensive player has turned into one of the worst defensive players for his position in baseball, so he is going to have to accept a move into one of the corners if he hopes to draw interest from teams.

Yesterday’s Heroes

There was only 1 game yesterday, where the Cubs beat the Cardinals 9-6. Nothing really big happened - the Cubs scored 5 runs in the 5th to take the lead 6-3, and then the bullpens shared ineffectiveness the rest of the way but nothing too exciting happened. Both starters also struggled, so I am giving no awards for that game.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup continues his pursuit of Paul Quantrill and 5th place all time on the relief appearance as a Blue Jay list. Loup is at 364, 2 back of Quantrill.

Find the Link

Find the link between Dylan Bundy and Ryan Franklin.