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Game # 14 Preview: Stanek vs Thornton

Rays (10-3) vs Blue Jays (4-9)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After escaping the 6 game road trip with just 1 win, the Blue Jays head home for 3 games to recuperate before heading back out to try again. Tonight they welcome the Rays into town to kick off this 3 game series, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jay will look to keep catching lightning in a bottle with rookie righty Trent Thornton, who so far has made 2 excellent starts after coming over in the trade that send Aledmys Diaz to the Astros. So far that’s a trade that is looking quite good for the Jays, although obviously it’s ridiculously early to call that one.

In Thornton’s 2 starts, he has gone 10.2 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits, walking just 2 and striking out 15. He has yet to pick up his first official win of his young career, but that will come (hopefully today).

Rays’ Starter

The Rays are going with the opener in this one, as Ryne Stanek gets the ball for the first couple innings. Following him will likely be Ryan Yarbrough, who hasn’t pitched in a game since the last time Stanek made a “start” back on April 6.

Stanek has opened 2 games and made 3 other relief appearances thus far this season, pitching a total of 6 innings to good success. He has allowed 1 run 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 7.

We saw Stanek for 10 innings last year total, and he definitely had his way with Blue Jays’ hitters. In 36 plate appearances, Jays’ batters hit .176/.222/.353 with 1 home run against him. Given how the Jays have done this year to start games, this doesn’t look overly promising, even though last year’s numbers involve a lot of players who aren’t on the team anymore.

Ryan Yarbrough has pitched twice this year, racking up 7.1 innings of 6.14 ERA ball, with 4 of his 5 runs coming in one bad inning his last time out in San Francisco. Yarbrough had much better success last year, where he pitched to a 3.91 ERA over 147.1 innings filling the same role he likely will today.

Blue Jays Lineup

Montoyo’s (or maybe more aptly the Front Office’s) continued love of Socrates Brito likely has him back in the lineup again today, as he is still looking to pick up his first hit as a Blue Jay.

Luke Maile is likely to be back behind the plate for this one, so long as his neck is feeling better. Shoemaker and Thornton are supposed to be his catching assignments, so while he missed Tuesday’s game catching Shoemaker, he’ll hopefully be able to catch Thornton tonight. I would imagine Danny Jansen could use a night off after taking a pitch off the hand last night.

Rays’ Lineup

Tommy Pham, whom the Rays stole from the Cardinals last season, is currently riding a 45 game on base streak. The 31 year old left fielder was phenomenal in his time with the Rays last season, and he’s picking up where he left off this season, hitting .286/.419/.408, already with 5 stolen bases.

The big standout for the Rays in the early going is right fielder Austin Meadows. The left handed hitter doesn’t get the starts against lefties, but that is of no concern to the Blue Jays while Ryan Borucki is on the IL. In 50 plate appearances thus far, the nearly 24 year old Meadows has hit .341/.420/.659 (193 wRC+) leading the Rays in home runs and RBI.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Fangraphs is having some issues this morning with their stats (I’m pretty sure Pham’s wRC+ is more than 3, and I remember players playing yesterday, but nothing is showing right now). So I’ll just have to approximate the awards today based on what was in the news.

Khris Davis hit 2 more home runs yesterday, driving in 3 to win the Monster Bat award and helped his Athletics beat the Orioles 8-5.

Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana and Shane Bieber all threw 7 shutout innings for their teams yesterday, so they can have the split of the Pitcher of the Day award. The Giants beat the Rockies 1-0, the Cubs beat the Pirates 2-0, and Cleveland beat the Tigers 4-0.

Mitch Moreland hit a game tying home run off Biagini and a game tying double off Giles, so that’s probably tops in the WPA King category. If someone did better than that, they were playing a bad team and didn’t deserve it. Moreland’s WPA for the game was .598.

Find the Link

Find the link between Stanek and the position player traded for Yasiel Puig.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs, when working. Otherwise worked as an auxiliary.