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Game #49 Preview: Porcello vs Sanchez

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Red Sox (25-23) vs Blue Jays (20-28)

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After trading blowouts in the first 2 games of this 4 game set, the Blue Jays look to take the series advantage against the visiting Red Sox tonight. The game is set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Jays hope to send Aaron Sanchez to the mound, despite the fact that he left his last start with a blister. But there has been minimal chatter about the blister since that start, and he never went on the IL, so I guess it’s safe to say that the blister was just a momentary setback. I remember thinking that in 2017 as well though, so I guess we shall see if it actually is something that has already gone away.

Through 10 starts on the season, Sanchez is 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA. His FIP is a fair bit uglier at 4.65, but he has been doing a decent job at dancing around the hot water he is putting himself in due to all of the walks he has been issuing (29 plus 5 HBP in 51 innings). Sanchez has found his strikeout pitch his last few times at least, notching 21 strikeouts in 16 innings, which would be a lot better if he didn’t give up 18 hits, walk 7 and allow 3 home runs in that timeframe as well.

Sanchez faced the Red Sox back on April 11, and had a rough 3rd inning due to a Randal Grichuk/Socrates Brito miscommunication error that ultimately resulted in 3 unearned runs. Sanchez still made it through 5 innings allowing just 1 earned run, walking 4 and striking out 5.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Red Sox send veteran workhorse Rick Porcello to the mound in this one. Porcello is having a rough start to his season, currently sitting at 3-4 with a 4.80 ERA. His 4.88 FIP is the highest mark of his career, thanks in large part to a walk rate that is over 1 per 9 innings higher than it has been in 10 years (currently sitting at 3.38, so a number a lot of pitchers can only dream of).

Porcello’s other folly, which has haunted him pretty much since he got to Boston, is giving up the long ball. He has allowed 9 in 50.2 innings so far, which is very close to his career worst rate from 2 years ago.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Yesterday was a lot of fun, working to score 10 runs, the second time the offense has exploded for double digits in the last week.

Brandon Drury, who will be the subject of a lot of lineup speculation around here due to his positional flexibility and reported deal with Montoyo, put up 2 hits yesterday. The deal as I understood it was that if he put up 2 hits, he’d bat third the next day. But he also wasn’t supposed to be in the lineup yesterday and was in there because of an injury to Eric Sogard. So I guess we’ll have to see what the plan is here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him batting third today.

Danny Jansen has caught Sanchez the last couple times out, but with Ryan Feierabend tentatively scheduled for Friday, maybe they get Luke Maile in today, then Jansen tomorrow so Maile can catch the knuckleballer after a day of rest. That’s assuming Feierabend is even starting on Friday, and not Clayton Richard, who keeps getting spotted throwing in the Jays’ bullpen.

Red Sox’ Lineup

J.D. Martinez has missed the last couple games due to being sick. I’m not sure the degree to which he is sick, but missing just a couple games seems likely. I’m quite alright not having to face one of the best hitters in baseball though, and a mild stomach issue is a perfectly fine way to keep him out of the lineup.

If Martinez isn’t healthy enough to be in the lineup today, I would imagine the Red Sox would run the exact same lineup out there as they did last night.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Clint Frazier and Rowdy Tellez are co-winners of the Monster Bat award. Both had 2 home runs and drove in 5 as their team beat their AL East counterpart by 7 runs, with the Yankees winning 11-4 over the Orioles and the Jays winning 10-3 over the Red Sox.

Joe Panik had a good day at the plate for the Giants. He went 2-3 with a pair of walks, with the walks and first hit incrementally helping build up his WPA. But it was his last AB that sealed the WPA King victory, as Panik came up with his Giants down by 1 and two men on. He laced a 2-run single to walk off the Braves, a hit that was worth .769 WPA, jacking up his total to .810 on the day.

German Marquez made it through 8 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 7. His Pitcher of the Day efforts helped his Rockies shut out the Pirates 5-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Porcello and Barry Zito.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs