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Game #120 Preview: Estrada vs López

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Blue Jays (54-65) vs Royals (36-83)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays play game 3 of their 4 game road series against the Royals tonight. The game gets underway at 8:15 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marco Estrada looks to rebound after struggling a bit against the Rays his last time out. He ultimately went 5.1 innings, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, walking 2 and allowing 2 home runs. This was just 1 start removed from his gem against the Mariners, where he took a no-hitter into the 7th and allowed just 1 run on 1 hit.

On the season, Estrada now owns a 5-9 record with a 4.84 ERA. News came out yesterday that Curtis Granderson had cleared trade waivers, and I would hope that Estrada is in the same boat. Another good start today would help his cause, although I’m still not sure anyone is going to be interested to bite on him.

Royals’ Starter

Jorge López, acquired in the Mike Moustakas to the Brewers trade at the deadline, makes his first start of the season for the Royals. He had 10 appearances out of the Brewers bullpen prior to the trade, and now has made a pair of starts for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the AAA affiliate of the Royals.

López has logged 31.2 Major League innings since 2015, and has pitched to a pretty good 3.69 ERA. The walks have been his biggest culprit though, as he has allowed 19 in those 31.2 innings. But he has done a great job keeping the ball in the park thanks in part to his groundball heavy approach, aided by his mid-90s sinker. He couples that sinker with a 4-seam fastball and a curveball, while also mixing in the occasional changup and slider, although the sinker has been the most valuable throughout his short career.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

After starting the last 2 games behind the plate, Danny Jansen is likely to be on the bench in this one. Luke Maile will probably catch Estrada today.

With another righty on the mound, Curtis Granderson will likely be in the lineup again. I think today might end up being an off day for Kendrys Morales.

I’d like to see Richard Ureña play a lot more than he has, but I don’t really know at the expense of who. Martin, Díaz and Travis are all hitting the ball well right now, and I don’t want to take away plate appearances from Jansen either.

Maybe Martin catches today? Doubtful.

Royals’ Lineup

Lucas Duda got the start yesterday against the lefty Borucki, and I would imagine he’ll be back out there again today against the Estrada. It would seem weird if he’s not.

Alcides Escobar was back at 3B yesterday too, and I wonder if Ned Yost is doing it for the 2015 ALCS flashback value or something, because he keeps drawing starts despite his 44 wRC+ this year after not posting a mark that reached 70 since 2014.

Adalberto Mondesi had a memorable night last night, and I’m sure Royals fans loved seeing the speed on display. I enjoyed it, even from our side.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Ronald Acuña had another big day yesterday. He hit a pair of home runs and a single in the Braves 10-6 win over the Marlins to win our Monster Bat award. Acuña has been on a insanely amazing hot streak - over the last week he is hitting .471/.514/1.235 with 8 home runs and a pair of doubles over 37 PA.

Kevin Pillar, with his 2 run home run in the 8th inning as well as his RBI single earlier in the night, had a .528 WPA, good enough for the WPA King title in the Jays’ 6-5 win over the Royals. It’s nice to see Blue Jays get these awards. It’s unfortunately rather rare.

Former Blue Jay J.A. Happ gets the Pitcher of the Day award. Happ threw 7 shutout innings against the Rays, allowing a 4th inning single while scattering 4 walks in the Yankees’ 4-1 win. Happ has really taken to Pinstripes, posting a 1.89 ERA over 3 starts and 19 innings.

Find the Link

Find the link between López and Brandon Woodruff.