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Game #70 Preview: Richard vs Valdez

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Blue Jays (25-44) vs Astros (47-23)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After the disaster yesterday, the Blue Jays will try to right their ship against the Astros and take game two. Today’s game starts at 4:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Left hander Clayton Richard will make his fifth start of the season for the Blue Jays, still in search of his first win. Through 15.1 innings, he is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA, having allowed 12 runs with 11 strikeouts and 11 walks. He has allowed just 3 home runs, perhaps his best stat in a sea of bad ones. He even has two balks on the season, so really, nothing is going right for him in the early going.

Astros’ Starter

Left handed rookie Framber Valdez will head to the mound, making his second start and 16th appearance overall. Valdez, the first person in baseball with the name Framber, is 2-2 with a 2.73 ERA. Through 33 innings, he has struck out 28 against 13 walks, having allowed just 2 home runs. Valdez does an amazing job keeping the ball on the ground at 59.1%.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

After getting hit in the hand last night, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s x-rays came back negative and he’s now listed as day-to-day. I would imagine he’ll have some swelling still today, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hold him out of the starting lineup. But I would be quite happy to see him in the lineup too, because that would mean the injury is quite minimal.

Teoscar Hernandez had the day off yesterday, but look for him to be back out in CF today. Same thing for Danny Jansen behind the plate.

Astros’ Lineup

Yordan Alvarez got his first (and second) non-home run hits last night, as well as his 3rd home run and yet another walk. His OPS is now up to 1.656 in 4 games. He’s probably going to be the DH in Houston for quite some time.

Robinson Chirinos, who hit a big Grand Slam yesterday, the first of his career, is having a pretty great season in general. Through 209 PA, he has a .243/.367/.521, good enough for a 139 wRC+. That ranks third among Major League catchers with at least 150 PA, right behind Gary Sanchez (142) and Yasmani Grandal (140).

Yesterday’s Heroes

Hunter Renfroe went 4-7 last night, hitting 3 home runs and driving in 5 to earn the Monster Bat award. His offence was just a sample of what was going on in Colorado last night though, as the Padres eventually beat the Rockies 16-12 in 12 innings.

Brian McCann had a great game yesterday, knocking a 2 out, 2 run, walk-off single to give his Braves the 9-8 win. That hit alone was worth .759 WPA, easily giving him the WPA King title with a .756 total in the win over the Phillies.

Kyle Gibson made it through 8 shutout innings, allowing just a pair of hits and no walks to earn the Pitcher of the Day award. He struck out 6 and got the win in the Twins’ 2-0 win over the Royals.

Find the Link

Find the link between Valdez and Michael Kopech.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs