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Game #161 Preview: Borucki vs Snell

Blue Jays (73-87) vs Rays (87-73)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays play their penultimate game of the 2018 season this evening in game 2 of 3 against the Rays. Tonight’s game gets underway at 6:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Staff ace (?) Ryan Borucki makes his 17th start of the season tonight, and the final in his excellent rookie season. In 16 Major League starts, the young lefty is 4-5 with a 3.76 ERA.

Borucki looks to continue his impressive streak that he is on, as he has thrown at least 6 innings in 3 straight starts, and has held opponents to 3 hits in all 4 of those starts. His place in franchise history with that streak is impressive.

It will be interesting to see who the Jays tab as their Opening Day starter next year. I think that Ryan Borucki has established an excellent case to be the one who toes the rubber March 28 in Toronto against Detroit.

Rays’ Starter

American League Cy Young front runner Blake Snell makes his final case for the award today. He seems to be the odds on favourite for the award, as he checks the big boxes for traditional voters - leads the Majors in wins, could quite possibly be the first AL starter to have a sub-2.00 ERA since Pedro Martinez in 2000 - and he has gotten to those numbers with good peripherals and great consistency and dominance all year. The biggest knock on Snell is that he hasn’t even averaged 6 innings per start, but considering the direction teams have gone with pitcher usage, there aren’t many starters that have gone a whole lot deeper per game. So long as he doesn’t implode against the Jays today, I think the award is his unanimously.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Hero Randal Grickuk started the game on the bench yesterday, but I would expect that he will be back in the lineup for this one. Who is out there with him I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pillar get a day of rest. Maybe we see Anthony Alford make his first start (doubtful). I would guess Jonathan Davis is out there today though.

Jon Berti likely draws the start at second base again. He now has a 2 game hitting streak, and looks to continue that dominance.

Danny Jansen will catch Borucki.

I’m hoping the left side of the infield is Aledmys Diaz and Richard Ureña, but Yangervis Solarte will probably wedge his way into the game somehow too.

It will be interesting to see if Gibby gives Rowdy Tellez the opportunity to face off against Snell. Last weekend Tellez faced Glasnow but not Snell, and I think it may happen again.

Rays’ Lineup

Matt Duffy has missed the last couple games with a quad injury, and there’s a possibility he is done for the season.

Kevin Kiermaier is actually done for the season with his fractured foot.

Adam Moore, who hit his first home run since 2012 off Jose Fernandez last night, is my pick to get the start again tonight. I love when guys toil away in the Minors for years and then get a chance in the Majors, whether it’s a first time like Berti, or a return like Moore.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Tucker Barnhart went 5-5 with a triple and a home run last night, earning the Monster Bat award. His efforts weren’t enough though, as the Reds fell 8-4 to the Pirates.

The Padres and the Diamondbacks played a long and crazy game last night. After the D-Backs took the 1-0 lead in the top of the 7th, the first pitch in the bottom half of the inning was put over the wall to tie the game. Then in the 11th after the D-Backs took the 2-1 lead in the top half, and the first pitch in the bottom half of the inning was put over the wall to tie the game. The Padres finally tallied a run in the bottom of the 15th to win 3-2. The 11th inning home run was hit by pinch hitter by Hunter Renfroe, who gets our WPA King title with his .493 mark. The win probability chart for this one is pretty fun (or boring, depending on your perspective I suppose).

It has been a while since I’ve given a Pitcher of the Day to Jose Berrios, but we’ll give him one for his work last night. Through 7 innings, he allowed 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 9. He only allowed 1 run, so that gets him above Kyle Hendricks, and he didn’t allow a home run, so that separates him from David Hess. I don’t care that he allowed 4 walks. The Twins won 2-1 over the White Sox in that game, and then 12-4 in the nightcap, not that anyone cares.

Find the Link

Find the link between Snell and Drew Storen.