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Game #15 Preview: Snell vs Buchholz

Rays (11-3) vs Blue Jays (4-10)

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays look to shake off the loss from last night as they kick off game 2 of their 3 game set against the visiting Rays. Today’s game gets underway at 3:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Veteran right hander Clay Buchholz makes his season and Blue Jays’ debut this afternoon. He came to Toronto on a 1 year, $3m contract that also includes an additional $3m in incentives based on games pitched. He finished last year on the DL with a right flexor strain, which definitely caused teams concern, since he missed most of 2017 to the same injury. But the Jays signed him, and he ultimately missed just over 2 weeks of regular season play while on the IL, and the Jays will hope that he can look as good as he did last season.

Last year was a renaissance for Buchholz, and one that I’m sure everyone is hoping wasn’t just a mirage. The 34 year old went 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA over 16 starts for the Diamondbacks, getting a late start to his Major League season as he spent the first part of the year in the Royals’ system before opting out in early May and going over to the Diamondbacks.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays are going with a traditional starting pitcher today, and he’s definitely a good one. 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell gets the ball, making his 4th start of the season. The first one went terribly, as he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, including 3 home runs while striking out just 3 Astros over 6 innings. However, his last two starts have looked a lot more like regular Snell, as he combined to allow 1 run on 8 hits over 13 innings, walking just 1 and striking out 24. I think it’s safe to say he has moved on from that first game.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

In case you missed it, Richard Ureña has been optioned to make way for Buchholz on the 25 man roster. Such is the life of the 7th infielder who still has options.

I keep waiting for the Jays’ lineup to be posted, but I have other things to do as well. So when the lineup is posted, someone will probably throw it in the comments. If I had to guess, I would imagine Socrates Brito is back in the outfield, while Danny Jansen is back behind the plate. Rowdy Tellez is hopefully back in the lineup too, after the fear of Ryan Yarbrough kept him out of the starting lineup yesterday.

Rays’ Lineup

They scored 11 runs with the lineup last night, and are facing another righty, so why change things?

I’m hoping for the under for runs and home runs compared to last night, although based on how Buchholz’ start in Buffalo went, I’m not going to guarantee anything.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Five different players hit 2 home runs yesterday, and while I wanted to give the award to rookie Eloy Jimenez for hitting his first 2 career shots at Yankee Stadium, I have to give this to Austin Meadows. Meadow’s hit his 2 home runs, plus a double and drew a walk to take home the Monster Bat award in the Rays win over the Jays.

Cole Hamels made it through 8 strong innings yesterday, allowing just a solo home run to Albert Pujols (this isn’t 2006, I promise), a pair of singles and a double, while striking out 6 and walking none. His Pitcher of the Day effort helped lead his Cubs to the 5-1 win over the Angels.

I really wanted to talk about Nick Vincent’s 3 shutout innings in the 18 inning masterpiece in San Francisco last night, but he was just edged out for WPA King by Yasmani Grandal. Grandal wins the award based on a few precise cuts as opposed to broad sword strike, as he had an RBI single in 1st (.113 WPA), a 2 run home run in the 5th (.304), a single in the 7th (.030), and a walk in the 9th (0.001) which combined with his fly out leading off the 4th, gives him a gameday total of 0.421 WPA.

Find the Link

Find the link between Snell and Big Time Timmy Jim.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs