Blue Jays’ Starter
Marcus Stroman heads to the mound for the Jays. Stroman is 4-8 with a 5.63 ERA, numbers that I am sure he isn’t happy with. But he has been much more the Stroman of old since coming back from the DL on June 23. However, his last start didn’t go so well, as he ultimately allowed 7 runs on 11 hits over 5+ innings, although 2 of those were inherited. And 9 of the 11 hits were singles, many of the seeing-eye variety, while the only 2 extra base hits were doubles. Only 3 balls off Stroman were hit over 100 mph, while 3 more singles fell in around 95 mph. He didn’t get hit as hard as he did in past starts, but he will always give up hits with his high groundball approach and not great infield defense.
Stroman has played the Red Sox only once this season, a July 15 start in Boston. He allowed 4 runs (but just 3 earned) on 5 hits and a walk, and a 2-run home run to Xander Bogaerts in the first inning. It was his worst start of the season in regards to allowing fly balls, and is the only game this season where he allowed more flyballs than groundballs.
Red Sox’ Starter
The Red Sox open the series with lefty Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz has completely fallen off a cliff this year, after putting together back to back seasons of 170.2 and 173.2 innings with a 3.32 ERA in each season. At this point in 2018, he is almost double that, at 6.56 over just 46.2 innings, the 7th highest in all of baseball among players with at least as many innings as he has.
Pomeranz has made 1 start against the Jays this season, back on May 13 in Toronto. In that start, he allowed just 3 runs on 5 hits, striking out 6, but was limited to 4 innings due to a large number of pitches with the 6 strikeouts and 5 walks. The Red Sox still won that Sunday rubbermatch 5-3.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
With the lefty Pomeranz on the mound, that means Granderson will be on the bench.
Devon Travis has started 4 straight games, which I wouldn’t be opposed to him being the primary starter at second base. If Drury and Diaz get the majority of starts at 3B and SS as well, I wouldn’t be heartbroken either. Yangervis Solarte has been fun, and he does have some power, but he isn’t a complete enough player the Jays need to be fighting to get into the lineup with any regularity.
Russell Martin will be back behind the plate catching Stroman in the opener.
Red Sox Lineup
The Red Sox have built themselves up a 9 game lead in the AL East over the Yankees, who have the 3rd best record in all of baseball. Having won 4 in a row, the Sox have a .699 winning percentage, a 113-win pace. If they do reach the 113 win mark (or even 111+) they will be in the top 4 all time, behind the record 116 set by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners.
The Red Sox aren’t operating at full health either. Dustin Pedroia has spent the majority of the season on the DL, so they traded for Ian Kinsler, who went on the DL after just a few games with the Red Sox after suffering a strained hamstring. Elsewhere around the infield, third baseman Rafael Devers has been on the DL since the end of July with a strained hamstring as well. Throw in Catchers Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart, and the Sox DL is fairly full (not to mention pitchers Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright).
But they still have a very menacing lineup (comfortably first in runs per game), led by Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Together they are hitting .333/.410/.646 (180 wRC+) with 59 home runs over 199 combined games. Their 11.1 combined WAR already with 49 games to go have them on a remarkable pace to make them one of the best pair of teammates of the past 10 years.
David Peralta got 7 plate appearances over the Diamondbacks 14 inning win over the Phillies. He went 4-7 with with a single, double and a pair of home runs, including a 9th inning home run to get it within 1 and then a walk off home run to earned our Monster Bat award.
Jake Arrieta threw 8 shutout innings in that game against the Diamonbacks. He allowed just 4 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 4 to earn the Pitcher of the Day honours. But as noted above, David Peralta and the Diamonbacks emerged victorious over Arrieta’s Phillies.
Find the Link
Find the link between Pomeranz and Carlos Gonzalez.