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Game #115 Preview: Snell vs Estrada

Rays (58-57) vs Blue Jays (52-62)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their homestand tonight as the Tampa Bay Rays roll into town. First pitch is at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marco Estrada looks to build off his excellent start in Seattle. In that start, he went 7+ innings, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and a pair of walks. He carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning, and then left after issuing a leadoff walk in the 8th. That walk came around to score the only run charged to Estrada, but the Jays still held on for the 5-1 win over James Paxton and the rest of the Mariners. That start improved his season numbers to 5-8 with a 4.64 ERA.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays are going with a traditional starter in this one, as All Star Blake Snell heads to the mound in the opener. After allowing a first pitch home run in the All Star Game, he settled down to throw 1.2 innings, allowing a 2-out walk in both innings. Considering the calibre of player he was facing due to it being the All Star Game, I think he would have to be happy with his overall performance.

Shortly after the All Star Game, he was placed on the DL with shoulder fatigue. He returned to make his August 4 start, an abbreviated one that he went just 4 innings, but he allowed only 1 run on 3 hits. I would assume he isn’t quite up to full strength yet, but he’s probably close.

On the season Snell is 12-5 with a 2.27 ERA. Somehow the Blue Jays haven’t helped him get to those numbers yet, as the Jays missed his turn in the order the first two times these teams met. But look to see a lot of Snell over the final 2 months, as these teams play 13 games against each other in the next 8 weeks.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With the lefty Snell on the mound, that means another off day for Curtis Granderson.

Russell Martin has caught 2 in a row and probably won’t today, so I would guess Luke Maile gets the start tonight.

Richard Urena isn’t likely to start this game either, as he continues to ride the pine.

Rays’ Lineup

As a team, the Rays are sitting right on 100 wRC+, although they’re getting there with a high average and on base percentage with minimal power. Their 105 home runs on the season ranks 4th from the bottom in all of baseball, but their .326 OBP is 8th, and they’re 6th in stolen bases at 78.

Individually, a couple of the players that got them there are no longer able to do so. Catcher Wilson Ramos had a 130 wRC+, but he has since been traded to the Phillies. Daniel Robertson had a 127 wRC+, but underwent season ending thumb surgery earlier this week.

Mallex Smith is their best hitter now, as he’s hitting .299/.373/.414 (121 wRC+) with just 1 home run, but his speed has helped him to 26 doubles/triples plus 25 stolen bases. He’s looking like a pretty good leadoff hitter.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Mookie Betts hit for the cycle, going 4-4 with a walk, to earn the Monster Bat award. But it wasn’t enough as the Blue Jays still beat the Red Sox 8-5.

Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam in the top of the 9th to give his Padres the 7-4 lead over the Brewers, and they would add another before the inning was over. But that Grand Slam helped add to his WPA King total of .463.

Gio Gonzalez went 7 innings, allowing a run on a Nick Markakis solo home run, and 5 other hits plus a walk. His Nationals won 6-3 over the Braves and pulled to 5.5 games back of the division leading Phillies thanks to Gonzalez and his Pitcher of the Day effort.

Find the Link

Find the link between Snell and Nick Markakis.