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Game #160 Preview: Pannone vs Glasnow

Blue Jays (72-87) vs Rays (88-71)

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the final series of the season, where mercifully we get to put 2018 behind us and continue to move forward. However, we have 3 games in the house of horrors before we can do that, as the Jays head to Tampa to take on the Rays. The first game of this 3 game set gets underway at 7:10 ET tonight.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Rookie left hander Thomas Pannone makes his 6th start with the big club. Through his first 5 plus 6 relief appearances, Pannone is 4-1 with a 3.58 ERA. He has danced around danger in order to arrive at those numbers, as he has stranded nearly 85% of batters who reach against him, despite allowing a rather high rate of home runs. FIP estimates his ERA should be comfortably over 5.00 due to all the home runs and low number of strikeouts, and it likely will be closer to that going forward than it will be to his current ERA. But until it happens, let’s enjoy watching Pannone successfully walk the tight rope.

Pannone faced the Rays his last time out as well, picking up his 3rd straight win. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits over 6.2 innings, the 3rd straight start the he allowed 2 runs while working into the 7th. He allowed 5 home runs over those 3 starts, so it’s amazing that he only allowed 6 runs total.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays are going with a legitimate starter for 2 of the 3 games this series. The first one is Tyler Glasnow, who has struggled a bit since coming over to Tampa. Through 10 starts, he is 1-5 with a 4.11 ERA. Some of his starts have gone poorly, but he has shown several flashes of brilliance as well, including his second to last start where he allowed no runs on 2 hits over 6 innings against the Rangers.

This will be Glasnow’s 4th start against the Jays since coming over from the Pirates. Two have gone fairly well for him, while one was terrible. In his 3rd start as a Ray while still ramping up his innings, he allowed a run on 2 hits over 5 innings. The second time the Jays shelled him early, striking for 7 runs and not letting Glasnow escape the first inning. And then the third time, last weekend back in Rogers Centre, where he allowed 3 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

I was excited to see Jon Berti make his Major League debut out of the blue on Wednesday afternoon. Now that Travis is dealing with leg problems again and Gurriel is shut down with his own hamstring problems, I wonder if Berti gets the start again tonight. I hope so.

Reese McGuire caught Pannone the last time out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that arrangement again. Danny Jansen had been getting the bulk of the catching time, but McGuire has taken on more starts over the last few weeks.

Anthony Alford still hasn’t gotten a start since being called up. I really hope he gets one this weekend.

Rays’ Lineup

Kevin Kiermaier was hit in the foot in the first inning of Wednesday’s game and has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right foot. He will not be playing in this series.

Joey Wendle and Mallex Smith are likely to be the only lefties that Pannone will face in this game, as Kevin Cash is able to run out a fairly righty heavy lineup.

Willy Adames, who missed a couple games last weekend with an illness, is healthy and back in the lineup.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Giancarlo Stanton went 2-3 with a pair of home runs and a pair of walks, as the Yankees destroyed Tampa Bay yesterday 12-1. The Yankees’ magic number to hosting the Wild Card game is now at 1.

Jason Vargas threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and walking none. That performance is worthy of the Pitcher of the Day award. The game was close for most of it as well, helping Vargas rack up WPA to be our WPA King with a .450 mark. The Mets held on for the 4-1 win over the Braves, who are still trying to lock down homefield advantage in the NLDS.

Find the Link

Find the link between Glasnow and Mark DeRosa.