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Game #55 Preview: Richard vs Stanek (o)

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Blue Jays (21-33) vs Rays (32-19)

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Today officially kicks off the second third of the season, and the good news is that we’re at least not on pace to lose 100 games, and we’re still better than the Orioles. But we’re not better than the Rays, and they showed us that yesterday. So today the Blue Jays will look to bounce back from an 8-3 defeat, and try to take game 2 in the House of Horrors. Gametime is back to the normal 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Left handed veteran Clayton Richard will make his second start of the season this evening, after spending the first 7 weeks of the season on Injured List. In his first start, Richard made it through 4 innings against the Red Sox, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and a pair of walks across 4 innings. His velocity was right in line with his career numbers, so it’s safe to say that he’s not feeling any ill effects from the stress reaction in his knee that shut him down for nearly 2 months.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays will send famed Opener Ryne Stanek to the mound, making his Major League best 15th “start” already, and it’ll be his 23rd appearance overall. Through 28.1 innings, Stanek has a 3.18 ERA and an equally good 3.26 FIP. He has done a great job limiting home runs (0.95 per 9 innings) and walks (2.86 per 9 innings), while getting an above average number of strikeouts (9.85 per 9 innings).

Stanek has made 2 appearances against the Jays so far this season. The first was an opening assignment, where Stanek had a pair of 3 up 3 down innings, striking out 3. The Jays got to him a couple days later as he came out of the bullpen, getting a run on a pair of hits, including a home run by Freddy Galvis while Stanek retired just 1 batter.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Danny Jansen should be back behind the plate for this one after the off day yesterday.

Brandon Drury didn’t play yesterday, so he’ll probably be back in the lineup today. I’m starting to think that story about him staying in the lineup if he gets a hit isn’t true, as he had a single on Sunday and didn’t play yesterday. Although that might be related to the bug that has been going around the clubhouse.

Speaking of that bug, I believe that was the stated reason that Justin Smoak was out of the lineup yesterday as well. It’ll be interesting to see who that bug attacked and put out of commission for this game. Can we just forfeit a game if everyone is too sick?

Rays’ Lineup

They seem to not have a bug of their own causing havoc in their clubhouse, and I’m sure they took all precautions to not get coughed on by the Jays’ players, so they’re likely to just run out their normal lineup.

Right handed bat Guillermo Heredia appears to get a lot of the starts against lefties, so he’ll probably be out there in place of somebody. That somebody has typically been Austin Meadows, but its tough to take out someone who is 7 for his last 9.

Yesterday’s Heroes

J.D. Martinez launched a pair of home runs, earning him the Monster Bat award on a pretty quiet day offensively across the league. The Red Sox were able to ride that output, plus a bunch of their other players, to a 12-5 win over Cleveland.

Orlando Arcia had a big 2 run home run in the top of the 8th that gave him Brewers the 5-4 lead and eventual win over the Twins. The home run alone was worth .335 WPA for our WPA King, a significant chunk of his .442 total. Teammate Josh Hader was the runner up for the award, as he pitched the last 2 innings to preserve the win, giving .358 WPA.

Jose Urena made it through 7 innings yesterday, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 4. But it was enough for Pitcher of the Day, and it was enough for his Marlins, as they beat the Nationals 3-2.

Find the Link

Find the link between Stanek and Trey Mancini.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs