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Game #134 Preview: Sanchez vs Straily

Blue Jays (60-73) vs Marlins (53-81)

Tornoto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Blue Jays head on down to south Florida to kick off a 3 game set against the Marlins. Today’s game gets underway at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Aaron Sanchez makes his second start since coming back from the DL. His first start went... poorly, to say the least. He allowed 6 runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks, while striking out just 2 over 4+ innings. He fought his command throughout the game, occasionally hitting his spots while at other times being rather wild. He threw a lot of pitches, 86 over his 4+ innings, and was rather ineffective all night. I really hope we can see good Sanchez for the final month of the season.

Marlins’ Starter

Veteran right hander Dan Straily gets the ball for the Marlins. He is making his 22nd start of the season, after having the start of his season pushed back nearly a month with a right forearm strain. Straily has gotten decent results this season, currently sitting with a 5=6 record and a 4.35 ERA. Given that he pitches in the NL East though, that 4.35 ERA probably isn’t that impressive (his RA9-WAR is just 0.6).

His peripherals do not paint a rosy picture at all. Among the 61 National League pitchers who have 100+ innings, Straily has allowed the 5th highest walk rate (4.19 per 9 innings) and the 6th highest home run rate (1.56 per 9 innings). His strikeout rate (7.47 per 9 innings) isn’t good enough to overcome those struggles, and therefore has lead to a 5.34 FIP and a -0.2 WAR.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Today is the waiver-trade deadline, and there’s a minimal possibility the Jays could make some moves today. Most likely is probably Curtis Granderson, who I would be sad to see leave, but is really just taking playing time from the other kids.

Today is also the last day of the season where we play under normal roster rules. Tomorrow the rules change to allow up to 40 players instead of 25, because the rules governing baseball are sometimes very weird.

We’re also in a National League ballpark, which means that Aaron Sanchez and company get to bat, because the rules governing baseball are sometimes very weird.

Kendrys Morales, who apparently hit some home runs while I was on vacation, is probably on the bench for this one. Justin Smoak seems to be trying to replicate Morales’ home run streak, so as long as he’s got that going (which realistically doesn’t go beyond today) Smoak will be starting at 1B.

Billy McKinney has been fun to watch, but there is a glut of outfielders on this team and he might be on the bench in this one.

Finally, Danny Jansen has been fabulous since his callup. I hope he keeps getting a lot of the starts.

Marlins’ Lineup

Their lineup is a pretty evenly split between good players and scrubs. There are 4 regulars that are hitting fairly well - catcher JT Realmuto (128 wRC+), third baseman Brian Anderson (111 wRC+), second baseman Starlin Castro (103 wRC+) and platoon first baseman Derek Dietrich (108 wRC+). With the Jays temporarily slated to start their 3 righties this series (if Estrada is still a Blue Jay after today), Dietrich will likely start all 3 games this weekend.

The other starters who aren’t hitting overly well include Miguel Rojas (78 wRC+), who has been a renaissance man across the infield, shortstop JT Riddle (75 wRC+), and three guys who currently have fewer than 100 PA in the Majors this season - left fielder Austin Dean (97 wRC+ in 48 PA), right fielder Rafael Ortega (89 wRC+ in 82 PA), and center fielder Magneuris Sierra (-7 wRC+ in 91 PA). Long gone are the days when the Marlins had the most feared outfield in all of baseball, that’s for sure.

Yesterday’s Heroes

I’ve been away for a week, so I’m going to extend the time frame for these awards to the last 7 days, because I can. Tomorrow we’ll get back to normal though.

Surprisingly, considering the Jays went 2-4 over this stretch, Randal Grichuk was the Monster Bat. He hit an impressive .632/.682/1.105 with a pair of homers over the 6 games.

Yankee rookie sensation Gleyber Torres leads the way with an 0.91 WPA to earn the WPA King title. It’s not overly exciting to look at WPA for a week apparently.

German Márquez, who I had the pleasure of watching last Saturday night in Colorado where he threw 7 shutout innings before being lifted for pinch hitting home run hitter Matt Holliday, earns the Pitcher of the Week award after allowing just 2 runs over 15 innings, striking out 22 and walking just 2.

Find the Link

Find the link between Straily and Buster Posey.