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Friday bantering

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Just a few bits and pieces for you today ahead of the weekend.

Jays news

After missing the past 11 games with a left quad strain, Justin Smoak is set to return to the lineup for todays home stand opener against the Kansas City Royals. The Royals went 58-104 last season, and is 28-53 this year, better than only Baltimore.

The starting pitcher for today’s game is likely to be Sean Reid-Foley, who replaced Jordan Romano on the roster on Monday. Lefty Danny Duffy (3-3, 4.48 ERA) will start for the Royals.

The matchups for the rest of the series are as follows:

SATURDAY - RHP Homer Bailey (7-6, 4.61 ERA) vs. RHP Marcus Stroman (5-9, 3.04 ERA)

SUNDAY - RHP Brad Keller (3-9, 4.32 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-10, 5.89 ERA)

MONDAY - RHP Glenn Sparkman (2-3, 4.07 ERA) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (0-4, 6.89 ERA)

The Blue Jays’ glass is half-empty at the midpoint of the season

Blue Jays continuing to evaluate protective netting at Rogers Centre

MLB bits

(WARNING) As the above story mention safety netting, it seems only right to share this. An important but difficult read. Foul balls injure 1,750 people a year, yet full length netting at MLB stadiums is still not mandatory. Kelsey McKinney on what a foul ball can do.

We’ve reached the point of too many homers!

The Marlins were awful- now they’re kind of interesting?

Plays of the day

Mike Trout. Top player. Top guy!

And the Jays took some time out to keep things in perspective.