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Game #20 Preview: Buchholz vs Pineda

Blue Jays (7-12) vs Twins (9-6)

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

The Blue Jays wrap up their 4 game set in Minnesota today, looking to earn their first series victory of the season. Today’s game against the Twins is an early one, kicking off at 1:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Veteran Clay Buchholz makes his second start for the Jays. His first one couldn’t have gone much better, as he gave the Jays 6 very solid innings, against the Rays no-less. In that game, he allowed a run on 6 hits and no walks, giving up just 1 extra base hit. He managed to strike out a pair of batters, while also keeping the ball on the ground quite well.

Twins’ Starter

Michael Pineda takes the ball for the Twins, making his 4th start of the year. The Twins are now reaping the rewards of the contract they gave him prior to the 2018 season, when Pineda was down with Tommy John surgery and set to miss the entire season. But the Twins gave him a 2 year contract, with their eyes set on 2019.

So far it appears to have been a good strategy. Pineda came back healthy and ready for 2019 as planned, getting in a full Spring Training. Now after 3 starts in the regular season, he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA over 15 innings. He has allowed 13 hits and just 2 walks while striking out 15, despite having a fastball that is about 2 mph slower post-surgery.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Luke Maile got the start behind the plate in yesterday’s game, so there is no concern with the “day game after a night game”, as Danny Jansen will get the ball this afternoon.

Socrates Brito and Alen Hanson were both on the bench yesterday, but I would guess that they’re both back in the lineup today. I would also imagine that the rope on them is drawing a bit shorter, and we could see some roster changes after Monday’s off day.

Twins’ Lineup

Shortstop Jorge Polanco is off to a torrid start to his season, currently sitting at a .429/.484/.768 slash line. Both the OBP and SLG rank 5th in all of baseball, while the batting average is tied with Cody Bellinger for tops in the big leagues. It’s no wonder that he’s gone 6-9 with a homer, double and 3 walks in this series so far.

On the other end of the spectrum in this series, the Jays pitchers have managed to keep Byron Buxton’s bat quiet so far. He is just 1-10 with a double, while also drawing a walk. His bat isn’t likely to stay quiet for long, but it certainly helps the Jays chances if they can keep him off the bases.

Yesterday’s Heroes

On a pretty quiet night for the bats, we’ll give Ji-Man Choi the Monster bat award. Choi went 2-2 with a homer and single, while also drawing a pair of walks. His Rays knocked off the Orioles 8-1.

For the second day in a row, a Cubs pitcher made it through 7 shutout innings. Except this time one of them gets the Pitcher of the Day honour, as Cole Hamels has earned it. Through his 7 shutout innings, he allowed just 3 hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out 8. He helped his Cubs take down the Marlins 6-0.

Hunter Dozier had a big go ahead home run leading off the 10th inning yesterday, and also chipped in a go ahead 7th inning single. Both of those hits helped him to a .501 WPA and our WPA King title. Those plays were the only thing of note in the Royals eventual 4-3 win over the White Sox.

Find the Link

Find the link between Pineda and Garrett Richards.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs