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Game #79 Preview: Sanchez vs Sabathia

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Blue Jays (29-49) vs Yankees (49-28)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the series in Boston, the Blue Jays will continue their road trip down to the Bronx where the Yankees are waiting earnestly for them to arrive. Tonight’s game gets underway at 7:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Right hander Aaron Sanchez will make his 17th start of the season, looking to save the runaway freight train that is his season. As his numbers continue to plummet after a solid first couple starts to the season, Sanchez is now 3-9 with a 5.49 ERA and matching 5.50 FIP. After putting up a 2.32 ERA through April, Sanchez saw his numbers take a step back in May before turning completely Edwin Jackson in June. In 4 June starts thus far, Sanchez has allowed 24 runs in 18.2 innings, surrendering 28 hits, 12 walks and 6 home runs, all while striking out just 9. He has allowed at least 1 home run in each of his 4 starts, and only one of those starts saw him strike out more than he walked.

Yankees’ Starter

Veteran left hander CC Sabathia will make his 13th start of the season this evening. Sabathia is currently 4-4 with a 4.14 ERA, although his FIP is a much uglier 5.66, thanks in large part to allowing 15 home runs in his 63 innings.

2019 has been a year of career milestones for Sabathia. In his start last Wednesday, he held the Rays to 1 run over 6 innings, giving him his 250th career win. He had failed his 3 previous attempts at getting to that milestone, so I’m sure he’s happy to put that behind him. Earlier this year, Sabathia recorded his 3000th career strikeout as well, becoming the 17th pitcher to reach that mark.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Eric Sogard and Cavan Biggio have earned starts every day, which is tough because they’re both second basemen. But between Sogard getting starts at DH and Biggio in RF, they’ve made it work to some extent. When Biggio starts in RF, Teoscar Hernandez usually sits, which somehow means the outfield defense is worse as Randal Grichuk slides over to CF. That might not be too big of an issue with the tiny outfield of Yankee stadium, and the groundball tendencies of Aaron Sanchez.

Yankees’ Lineup

I will never be happy with seeing Edwin Encarnacion in pinstripes. He was a good man who did not deserve such a travesty, even if it means he’s on a winning team again. However, despite hitting a couple home runs, he is hitting just .115/.207/.346 in a little over a week since showing up, so maybe he’s not too happy about being a Yankee either.

Elsewhere around the lineup, the Yankees are starting to get back to full health. Didi Gregorius has been back for a couple weeks now, while Giancarlo Stanton has been back a little over a week. Aaron Judge returned on Friday from a 2 month absence as well, leaving just Greg Bird as the only starting position player left on the IL, and Luke Voit probably has removed that title from Bird anyway.

The Yankees will look to tie the 2002 Texas Rangers with a home run in their 27th consecutive game this evening, a record that Buck will mention no fewer than 30 times on tonight’s broadcast.

Yesterday’s Heroes

DJ LeMahieu went 3-4 with a home run and a triple yesterday, driving in 3 of the Yankees’ 4 runs while scoring the other to win the Monster Bat award. It wasn’t enough though, as the Astros put up an 9 spot to win 9-4.

Javier Baez hit a big 3-run home run in the 8th inning of yesterday’s game against the Mets. His home run gave the Cubs the 5-3 lead, which they managed to hold on to. The hit was worth .540 WPA, which brought Baez up out of the negative and into the winners’ circle of the WPA King fight with a .450 mark.

Adrian Sampson made it through 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 7 hits. He struck out just 4, but also walked just 1, and all of that was good enough to win the Pitcher of the Day honours. It was also good enough for Sampson’s Rangers, as they beat the White Sox 7-4.

Find the Link

Find the link between Sabathia and Bill Spiers.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs