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Game #23 Preview: Sanchez vs Anderson

Blue Jays (10-12) vs Athletics (11-12)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Athletics Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays finish what has already been a very successful road trip, trying to earn the 3 game sweep of the host Athletics. Today’s game gets underway at 4:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Aaron Sanchez makes his 5th start of the season, looking to continue his strong start to the season. He is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA, averaging 5.5 innings per start. The peripherals aren’t nearly as kind to him though, as he has a 4.41 FIP, hurt mostly by the 13 walks in 22 innings. He has allowed walk totals of 3-2-4-4 across his 4 starts, which thankfully for him haven’t come around to bite him too hard just yet.

Athletics’ Starter

Old friend Brett Anderson gets the ball for the Athletics. The veteran lefty made it back to Oakland last year, the team he originally broke into the big leagues with, and gave them 17 starts of varying quality. The early returns this year have been very good, as Anderson is averaging 6 innings per start over his first 4, sitting at a 3-0 record and a 2.63 ERA.

Anderson has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, and that trend has continued into this season as well. Through his first 24 innings, he has managed just 14 strikeouts, and his 13.7% rate is the lowest of his career outside of an 11.1 inning season in 2016. But he survives on keeping the ball on the ground and pitching in front of strong defense, which is exactly what he’s getting here in Oakland.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

It has been a while since the Jays faced a lefty, so it will be interesting to see how they end up rolling out the lineup in this one. I would imagine that Eric Sogard will be on the bench while Alen Hanson makes the start at second base. The big question, at least to me, is whether they allow Rowdy Tellez to face the lefty, especially since he is more of a soft tossing lefty.

Athletics’ Lineup

Chad Pinder got the start yesterday over Robbie Grossman, but I would imagine that Grossman will be back out there today.

Josh Phegley has started 3 games in a row now, and I would be surprised to see the 31 year old catcher back out there for a 4th one. Look for Nick Hundley to get the start behind the plate this afternoon.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Both Eddie Rosario and Renato Nuñez went 5-9 with 3 home runs in the Orioles-Twins double header, Rosario for the Twins and Nunez for the Orioles. We’ll let them split the Monster Bat award, but they sure didn’t split the doubleheader. Minnesota won both games, 16-7 and 6-5.

Miles Mikolas worked through 8 very strong innings, allowing a pair of runs on 4 hits. His efforts as Pitcher of the Day were more than enough for his Cardinals, as they walked all over the Mets 10-2.

In another double header matchup, Ronald Acuña Jr. played hero in the Atlanta-Cleveland duel. In the nightcap, Acuña laced a 2 run double in the top of the 9th, giving the Braves the 8-7 lead, which would hold up as the final tally. That double was worth .593 WPA, which was the key play in his full day WPA King total of .574. Cleveland and Atlanta split the double headers, with Atlanta taking the nightcap 8-7 after Cleveland won the opener 8-4.

Find the Link

Find the link between Anderson and Hyun-Jin Ryu.