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Game #16 Preview: Morton vs Stroman

Rays (11-4) vs Blue Jays (5-10)

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

The Blue Jays will try to earn their first series victory of 2019, after they split the first two games with the Rays. Today’s game gets underway at 1:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Jays’ rotation has wrapped back around, and Marcus Stroman heads back to the mound for the 4th time this year. So far this season, Stroman is an unfortunate 0-2, despite a sparkling 2.41 ERA over 18.2 innings in 3 starts. He has struck out 18 to 6 walks, and has yet to allow a home run this season, which adds up to an even better 2.18 FIP.

Stroman faced the Rays just twice last year, a mid-August start the he was forced to depart through 5 innings of 1 run ball due to a blister, and his final start of the season on September 3, when the blister was really bad. He gave up 4 runs in 1.2 innings in that start, and then was shut down for the rest of the season.

Rays’ Starter

Newly signed Free Agent Charlie Morton makes his 4th start for the Rays this afternoon. Morton came over to Tampa after a pair of very successful seasons in Houston, which allowed the 35 year old to land a 2 year, $30m contract with the Rays. The early returns have been very kind, as Morton is 2-0 with 2.25 ERA over 16 innings. He has allowed 4 runs on just 10 hits, striking out 21. The somewhat troubling number is the 7 walks, but even that just seems like digging to find something wrong with an otherwise magnificent start to the season for Morton.


Socrates Brito is back in right field, and has moved up in the order a couple spots to 7th, although Brandon Drury (0 for his last 20 with 1 walk, 7-50 on the season) and Danny Jansen (5-35 with just 1 xbh all year) aren’t really doing much better with the bat.

Justin Smoak is back at 1B, making just his second start there since April 2.

On the Rays’ side, Tommy Pham gets his first game of the season off, as Avisail Garcia moves from DH to the outfield. Daniel Robertson gets the start at 3B, pushing Yandy Diaz to DH.

Mike Zunino gets the day off today, as Michael Perez makes his first start of the series.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Austin Dean earned the Monster Bat award by going 4-4 with a homer and double, scoring 3 and driving in 5. His big bat helped his Marlins take down the Phillies 10-3.

Homer Bailey made it through 7 shutout innings, allowing just a pair of hits and a pair of walks, striking out 6 to take home the Pitcher of the Day award. His exploits helped his Royals (he’s on the Royals now?) take down Cleveland 3-0. He also had a .422 WPA, narrowly edging Howie Kendrick’s .410 mark for the Nationals as Bailey takes home the WPA King trophy too.

Find the Link

Find the link between Morton and David Price

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs