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Game #42 Preview: Jackson vs Anderson

Blue Jays (17-24) vs Giants (17-24)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at San Francisco Giants Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was fun! The Blue Jays seemed like a completely different team, having life injected into them, no doubt thanks to a pair of absolute bombs from Vladdy. So they get to do it all over again this afternoon, wrapping up their short 2 game visit against the Giants. Today’s game is an earlier one, so be aware of the 3:45 ET start.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Edwin Jackson finally makes his Blue Jays’ debut, nearly 8 years after initially being acquired by the team. For those who don’t remember, Jackson came over from the White Sox in a July 2011 trade that sent franchise appearance leader Jason Frasor the other way, only to be flipped shortly thereafter in a package that got the Jays Colby Rasmus, among others. This time, Jackson was acquired in a trade for cash from the Athletics, as the Jays are in desperate need of starting pitching. Once Jackson throws his first pitch, he will officially be the Major League record holder by playing with his 14th team.

Jackson didn’t make an appearance for the A’s at the Major League level this season, instead signing a Minor League deal after the season started and working his way back to game speed in the Minors. Since signing on April 11, Jackson made 3 starts in the A’s Minor League system, doing great in his first outing but struggling with walks and home runs in his last two outings in AAA. But he’s a pitcher with a pulse, and that’s all the Jays really need right now.

Giants’ Starter

The Giants counter with one of their own pitchers making his debut with the team. Shaun Anderson will make his Major League debut this afternoon, looking to provide the Giants with a necessary healthy arm in their rotation. Anderson started the season as one of the Giants’ top 4 prospects.

Anderson started the season in AAA for the Sacramento River Cats, making 7 starts after getting 8 at that level to finish off 2018. Over 35 innings this season in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League, Anderson had 37 strikeouts against just 11 walks and 3 home runs, giving him a 4.11 ERA, but a nicer looking 3.55 ERA.

As per Fangraphs, Anderson features a fastball, slider and changeup, with the ability to locate well. The fastball and slider are rated as slight pluses, while the changeup lags behind a bit but should help a bit in balancing out any platoon splits. But with a plus fastball and slider, Anderson figures to be able to rack up the strikeouts occasionally, something the Jays’ hitters are pretty accommodating of.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Last night was a lot of fun, especially the Vladdy aspect of it. Three (four if you count a 120 mph foul ball) were absolutely crushed, as he continues to get more and more comfortable at the playing, showing his elite ball destroying ability.

Also in that game, Randal Grichuk got his first steal of the season, so that was exciting. He’s hitting .289/.325/.474 (113 wRC+) over his last 80 PA, so his bat is slowly coming around too.

With the righty Anderson on the mound, the Jays will likely have no problem sending Eric Sogard back out to the mound keystone. He collected a pair of hits and a bean ball yesterday, righting a ship that saw him get on base just twice in 16 PA over the previous 4 games.

Giants’ Lineup

The Giants will try to scrape together some more offense tonight, perhaps a challenging task for the team with the 3rd fewest runs in the NL. Their 39 home runs on the season fall 28th in the Majors, just behind the Blue Jays, while their positions are flipped when you look at team wRC+, with the Giants 27th at 80 and Blue Jays at 28th with 74.

Evan Longoria got the rare day off yesterday, although he did come in and pinch hit. I would guess that he’s back in the field for this one.

With the day game after the night game, I’m not sure if we’ll see Stephen Vogt back behind the plate. Rookie Aramis Garcia might get the catching duties instead.

Veteran outfielder Aaron Altherr could be making his debut with the Giants today too. Altherr struggled the last couple years for the Phillies, but did show pretty good promise in 2017 with a 121 wRC+ in 107 games. If Altherr can be anything with the bat, he will get a lot of playing time with the outfield starved Giants.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the obvious answer for the Monster Bat award, with his 2 homers and 4 times on base in total in the Jays 7-3 win.

Joe Musgrove made it through 7 shutout innings, allowing just a single hit and a pair of walks while striking out 5 to earn the Pitcher of the Day award in a pretty crowded field (Chris Sale struck out 17 in 7 great innings, Carlos Carrasco also had 7 shutout innings, while Kyle Hendricks and Noah Syndergaar both threw 8 innings, but allowed some runs). Musgrove pitched his was through a pretty good Diamondbacks’ lineup, helping his Pirates to the 6-2 win.

Roenis Elias pitched 2.1 hitless innings, coming in in the 7th inning with his team up by 1, 2-outs and the bases loaded. He struck out Chad Pinder to end that threat, then proceeded to put up 2 more zeroes to pick up the save and earn our WPA King title as one of our most unique recipients. Elias was worth .411 WPA, an obviously big part of the Mariners 4-3 win over the Athletics.

Find the Link

Find the link between Anderson and Adalberto Mejia.