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Game #92 Preview: Richard vs Happ

Blue Jays (34-58) vs Yankees (58-31)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After an uninspired loss last night, the Blue Jays are right back at it again this afternoon against the Yankees in New York. The gametime is set for 1:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jays will send out Clayton Richard, as the left hander makes his 10th start in Blue Jay blue. His numbers look very Sanchez-like, as he is 1-5 with a 6.23 ERA. He is having a rough time with home runs, having allowed 9 in just 43.1 innings. His strikeout rate is another big concern this season too, as it is down to a paltry 4.36 per 9 innings, the lowest of anyone in baseball who has thrown at least 30 innings.

Richard is at least coming off a trio of quality starts, if you take the absolute minimum of that definition. Three straight starts now he has finished 6 innings, and allowed 3 earned runs. One of those starts was even against the Yankees, where he allowed 3 runs on 8 hits, walking 1 and striking out just 1 while allowing 3 home runs. It was a miracle that he allowed only 3 runs, but the Yankees were really down on their luck that day. DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres all touched him up for home runs in that one.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees will send old friend J.A. Happ out to the mound to face his former team. The 36 year old lefty isn’t really living up to his $34m contract he signed with the Yankees over the winter, as he is currently sitting at a 7-4 record with a 5.02 ERA. He’s averaging just over 5 innings per start, isn’t getting the strikeouts that he was since he got to Pittsburgh a few years ago, and is giving up over 2 home runs per 9 innings. Pinstripes aren’t treating him well.

Happ threw arguably his best start of 2019 against the Jays when they faced off at the beginning of June. Through 7 innings at the Rogers Centre, Happ held the Jays to just 1 run on 4 hits, walking none and striking out 4. He allowed a pretty meaningless 6th inning home run to Eric Sogard after Edwin Jackson had already handed the Yankees the game.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Justin Smoak heads to the bench today, which moves Rowdy Tellez to 1B, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to DH and Brandon Drury to 3B.

Luke Maile gets the start behind the plate, hoping to extend what Buck and Pat will tell you is a good run of starts for Clayton Richard. And I guess given what he did before that, and what everyone else on the Jays has done, it probably is.

Yankees’ Lineup

Luke Voit returns from the Injured List to make his return to 1B today. Voit hasn’t played since June 29 when he strained an abdominal muscle collecting too many hits against the Red Sox. But he’s back today, which moves DJ LeMahieu to 3B and Giovanny Urshela to the bench.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez went 3-3 with a pair of home runs, a single and a walk to earn the Monster Bat award. His offensive output wasn’t enough though, as the Astros lost to the Rangers for the second straight night, this time 9-8.

Danny Santana was the reason the Astros went home sad, as he hit a walkoff single, driving in Elvis Andrus with the game winning run. Santana was 3-4 on the night including a home run, which all helped him get to a .581 WPA for the WPA King title.

Down in Anaheim where the Angels were celebrating the life of Tyler Skaggs, they combined to throw a no hitter while shutting out the Mariners 13-0. Opener Taylor Cole went 2 perfect innings while bulk guy Felix Peña made it through the last 7, and they are the co-winners of the Pitcher of the Day award.

Find the Link

Find the link between Happ and Justin Upton.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs