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Game #146 Preview: Gaviglio vs Rodriguez

Blue Jays (65-80) vs Red Sox (100-46)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays wrap up their 3 game series in Boston tonight, looking to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. Tonight’s game gets underway at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays Starter

Sam Gaviglio looks to continue the Jays’ recent trend of amazing starts in Boston, while looking to bounce back from his last poor start against Cleveland. In that last start, Gaviglio went just 4.1 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits while surrendering a pair of home runs.

On the season, Sammy G is 3-8 with a 5.25 ERA, struggling through most starts, although he does have a handful of good starts mixed in throughout his season, maybe about 7 of his 20 starts. The fact that someone like Gaviglio has already made 20 starts really goes to show how bad 2018 has been in Blue Jay land.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Red Sox will send promising/frustrating young lefty Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound as they go for the sweep. Through 21 starts (the 4th straight year he will finish in the low 20s in starts), the 25 year old is 12-4 with a 3.64 ERA. He is having a great year getting strikeouts (9.98 per 9 innings) while limiting walks pretty good as well (2.85 per 9 innings). Combine that with a respectable 1.11 HR/9 rate, and Rodriguez has a 3.60 FIP on the season, which doesn’t stand out in Boston’s rotation, but it sure would in ours.

Rodriguez has made 3 starts against the Jays this year, totaling 18.2 innings. He has allowed just 5 runs on 13 hits, walking 2 against 2 home runs. That’s just a .191/.214/.294 batting line over 70 plate appearances.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

John Gibbons has said that he doesn’t want guys like McKinney and Tellez to get pigeon-holed into a platoon this early in their career, so they were in there against Price yesterday. It seems like they might both be in there against Rodriguez tonight too.

Luke Maile hasn’t started a game at catcher since last Friday, but to me it feels more like this is Reese McGuire’s game to catch.

Randal Grichuk and Kevin Pillar both sat yesterday, but I would imagine they’ll both be in the starting lineup tonight. That probably means it is Teoscar Hernandez’ turn to sit again.

Red Sox’ Lineup

Brock Holt, for whatever dumb reason, is the best hitter in the world when facing the Jays. He’ll likely be starting in this game too, although where I’m not sure. Yesterday was at second base, but the Red Sox may look to get other guys in the lineup rested up.

Sandy Leon has made 3 straight starts at catcher. I would imagine it is Christian Vazquez’s turn to get a start. Not that it really matters, but I don’t get why they didn’t go out and get a catcher over the summer. The combination of Leon, Vazquez and Blake Swihart has combined to make the Sox catchers one of the worst positions in all of baseball at -1.8 WAR, only comfortably ahead of the Chris Davis led Orioles first basemen. That’s not really something you want when shooting for a World Series, but they have enough talent elsewhere that it’s not really a problem.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Francisco Arcia went 3-4 with a pair of homers and a double, earning the Monster Bat award. His bat helped the Angels trounce the Rangers 8-1.

DJ LeMahieu had a huge day yesterday, including a 1-out 2-run home run to walk off the visiting Diamondbacks 5-4. LeMahieu’s WPA King total of .727 helped the Rockies maintain their 1.5 game lead over the Dodgers, while pushing the Diamondbacks down to 3.5 back.

Zack Wheeler went 8 shutout innings yesterday, scattering 4 hits while walking none to earn our Pitcher of the Day award. And because Wheeler isn’t Jacob DeGrom, the Mets offense showed up and walked all over Miami 13-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Rodriguez and Aroldis Chapman.