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Game #110 Preview: Waguespack vs Junis

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Blue Jays (42-67) vs Royals (40-69)

Toronto Blue Jays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Blue Jays will look to wrap up the three game sweep of the home town Royals this afternoon, trying to grab their first sweep since the Athletics back at the end of April. Today’s game is an earlier one, set for a 1:15 ET start.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Rookie Jacob Waguespack will make his 4th start of the season, and 6th appearance overall. Through 24 innings, he is 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA, but does at least have a nice looking 4.14 FIP. He has struck out 22 against just 7 walks and 3 strikeouts, keeping the ball on the ground at a slightly better than league average rate.

Waguespack took the loss his last time out against the Rays, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings. He walked 3 and only struck out 2, which is the second time this season he walked more than he struck out. The 5 inning mark seems to be the most that any Jays’ pitcher is capable of achieving, which is really destroying the ever thinning bullpen. If the Jays can get a little more out of Waguespack, it will definitely help things today.

Royals’ Starter

The Royals will complete the battle of the Ja(c/k)obs and send out 26 year old Jakob Junis, making his 23rd start of the season. He is 6-9 with a 5.03 ERA through 125.1 innings. His biggest challenge, as has been through the first 400 innings of his career, is keeping the ball in the yard. Of the 50 pitchers with at least 400 innings since the start of 2017, Junis has the 4th highest HR/9 inning rate at 1.55, even though he pitches half of his games in the relatively spacious Kaufmann Stadium.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The #hugwatch will officially end today, one way or another, for Freddy Galvis and Justin Smoak. I doubt both will be gone, but I do expect one of them to be on a new team today. Galvis is nursing a sore back, which limited him to DH duties yesterday, and that likely limits his return. Smoak must be dealing with something as well, as he has missed a handful of games over the last couple weeks.

Bo Bichette seems to be acclimating to the Majors fairly quickly so far. He lined a couple singles up the middle yesterday, hit the ball hard all night, and even drew a walk. He doesn’t have an extra base hit yet, but it’ll come.

Reese McGuire is likely to be behind the plate in this one.

Royals’ Lineup

Bubba Starling got the night off last night, but I would imagine he’ll be back in the lineup today. This would be just the 15th game for the 26 year old rookie, who seems to be taking to the Majors alright. He has a 78 wRC+ with 2 DRS in CF, so all things considered, I’m sure Royals fans are happy with what he’s putting out there.

The renaissance of Alex Gordon this year has been good to see. Despite playing for Kansas City, I have always liked Gordon. His bounceback from an abysmal 2017 season when he put up a 62 wRC+ to where he’s at now, back up over 100 wRC+ all the way to 111 at the two thirds marks of this season is pretty good. I’m sure the Royals’ fans are happy to see him giving them some value on that massive contract he signed, which is up at the end of this season.

Expect Cam Gallagher to be back behind the plate after having last night off in lieu of Meibrys Viloria.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Adam Duvall went 4-5, knocking out 2 home runs to earn the Monster Bat award. His offensive output helped his Braves beat the Nationals 11-8.

Matt Olson played hero last night for the Athletics, hitting a walk off home run in the 10th inning. The home run itself accounted for .422 WPA towards his WPA King total of .466 in the A’s 3-2 win over the Brewers.

Justin Verlander threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just a pair of hits while striking out 13 and walking none. That kind of start easily gets the Pitcher of the Day award, and it was enough for the Astros to beat Cleveland 2-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Junis and Carl Everett. (2nd degree)

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs