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Game #102 Preview: Stroman vs López

Blue Jays (46-55) vs White Sox (36-66)

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays roll into Chicago for a 3 game weekend set. Tonight’s game starts at 8:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marcus Stroman, amid minor trade speculations, looks to continue his post-injury success. When Stroman went on the DL with shoulder issues at the beginning of May, he was 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA over 7 starts. Since coming back, he has gone 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA over 6 starts. His season ERA is now down to 5.42, while his FIP is a much healthier 4.16.

White Sox’ Starter

Reynaldo López gets the ball for the White Sox to open the series. On the season, the talented righty is 4-8 with a 4.13 ERA, but struggling peripherally which has led to a 4.78 FIP. He was especially bad against the Mariners his last time out, where he went just 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, but it was the 4 walks against just 1 strikeout while surrendering a 3-run home run to Ryon Healy that hurt him badly in a 5 run first inning.

López faced the Blue Jays way back on April 2, and he was rather unhittable. Curtis Granderson had a 5th inning single for our first hit of the night, and then Josh Donaldson hit a 6th inning home run to give us our first run. Thankfully Jaime Garcia had an equally good start, and the Jays were able to pull out the 4-2 win with 3 runs off the Chicago bullpen. But that start for López kicked off a string of 5 straight starts that he allowed 2 or fewer runs. Since that stretch, he has not looked anywhere as dominant consistently, although he has thrown in a few awesome starts here and there.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Ross Atkins has said that new acquisition Brandon Drury will be in the lineup tonight. I would guess that he is taking over 3B duties for the foreseeable future. What that means for playing time for Yangervis Solarte I’m not sure, although he has been struggling for a while (58 wRC+ over the last 60 days).

I’m sure there will be chatter about other trades happening today, as the Jays will likely look to move one of their additional infielders, as well as Curtis Granderson. Once Granderson is moved to greener pastures, I am hoping that Dalton Pompey gets the reins the rest of the season, as he has been doing quite well in AAA since coming back from his most recent injury. He’s at a make it or break it time, and he should be getting his chance soon.

Another spot that might see a guy removed from is catcher. Russell Martin and Luke Maile could both have varying degrees of trade interest, and moving one would open the door for Danny Jansen to finally make his well earned Major League debut.

White Sox’ Lineup

The only White Sox player I have heard much chatter about on the trade front is first baseman Jose Abreu. He is off to a slow start to his season, putting up a career low 110 wRC+ with just 16 home runs. Through his first 4 seasons, he was your prototypical first baseman, averaging over 30 home runs and 100 rbi, putting up a wRC+ over 135. So his struggles this year at age 31 are likely hurting his trade value and his hope for much of a free agent contract next winter.

By WAR, shortstop Tim Anderson is the Sox’ best player. He has a 92 wRC+ while playing marginally below average SS, which has earned him 1.7 WAR on the season. Not great, but he tops his team, and also tops everyone on the Jays this season.

Former top prospect Yoan Moncada is having a disappointing season. A league average line, poor defense at 2B and a 33.5% strikeout rate is not the outcome you are hoping for from a 70 FV prospect. At this point, he’s a solid role player, but the White Sox were hoping for a star when he was the key part of the return for Chris Sale.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Matt Chapman went 3-3, hitting a home run, a pair of triples and also drawing a walk. It was the 2 triples on top of the home run that separated him from the few players that hit a pair of home runs, and earns Chapman the Monster Bat award in the Athletics 7-6 win over the Rangers, their 6th straight win.

Kyle Gibson went 8 strong innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a pair of walks, helping his Twins take down the Red Sox 2-1. His efforts earn him Pitcher of the Day honours as well as WPA King, as he contributed .446 WPA to the takedown of the Red Sox.

Milestone Watch

Lourdes Gurriel looks to tie the Blue Jays’ franchise record of consecutive multi-hit games at 9, tying Tony Fernandez.

Aaron Loup has tied Paul Quantrill in relief appearances as a Blue Jay, and will take over sole possession of 4th place on that list if he gets into another game before being traded.

Find the Link

Find the link between Reynaldo López and Brandon Jacobs.