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Game #18 Preview: Sanchez vs Gibson

Blue Jays (6-11) vs Twins (8-5)

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Blue Jays will make another attempt at back to back wins, as they have done so just once so far this season. Tonight’s game against the Twins begins at 7:40 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Aaron Sanchez makes his 4th start of the season for the Jays. Like every other starter it seems, he is off to a good start to his season. He has struggled a little bit getting deep into games, having thrown just 16 innings over 3 starts, with a pair of 5 inning starts and a 6 inning one. The good news is that he has struck out 16 batters in those innings, while the somewhat bad news tied to that is that he has also walked 9, which is pretty much in line with the walk rate he has posted in the 141 other innings since his magical 2016 seasons.

All of this means that Sanchez is 1-1 on the season, posting a 1.69 ERA. Even despite the large volume of walks, his FIP is an excellent 3.20, as Sanchez has yet to surrender a home run.

Twins’ Starter

Minnesota will counter with right hander Kyle Gibson, the longest tenured Twin now that Joe Mauer has retired. As TJ mentioned yesterday in the View From the Other Side article, Gibson’s preparation for the season was set back due to contracting E-Coli over the offseason on a humanitarian trip, a result of which was losing 15 pounds.

As such, he has not performed overly well in his first 2 games of the season. Through just 9.1 innings, he has allowed 9 runs (8 earned) on 14 hits, including 3 home runs. He has walked 5 and struck out 8. All of this adds up to a 0-0 record, a 7.71 ERA and an equally bad 7.21 FIP. His season will get better though.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With the right handed Gibson on the mound, we are likely to see a fairly lefty heavy lineup. Socrates Brito, Eric Sogard and Rowdy Tellez all got the night off against the lefty yesterday, and while I expect to see Sogard and Tellez in the lineup today, it will be interesting to see if they put Brito in over either Billy McKinney or Teoscar Hernandez, as both have had some pretty big hits over the last couple days.

Twins’ Lineup

The current lineup, weighted heavily by Jonathan Scoop who obviously played a lot of games against Sanchez during his time with the Orioles, have hit Sanchez pretty well. Over 75 PA (30 by Schoop), all Twins batters have combined to post an .873 OPS (.835 by Scoop).

Young phenom Byron Buxton, who had his best and longest season in the Majors the year Sanchez missed most of his time in 2017, has never faced Sanchez. But that is a matchup worth watching, as Buxton seems to be moved past the struggles he went through last year, and is ready to get back to being the player he was in 2017, especially the second half version of him.

Yesterday’s Heroes

For Monster Bat, Christian Yelich is the obvious winner here, launching 3 home runs and drawing a walk in the Brewers’ 10-7 win over the Cardinals.

Clayton Kershaw fought his way through 7 innings, allowing a home run to his friend Puig, but otherwise still had a great night and wins Pitcher of the Day. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits over those 7 innings, walking none and striking out 6, earning a no decision in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Reds.

Joc Pederson runs away with the WPA King award for that game, as he launched a walkoff 2 run home run, a hit that was worth .688 WPA of his .708 total.

Find the Link

Find the link between Gibson and former Blue Jay Felix Doubront.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs