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Game #120 Preview: Green (o) vs Waguespack

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Yankees (76-40) vs Blue Jays (48-71)

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After evening the series up last night, the Blue Jays will look to take the advantage in this 4 game set against the division leading Yankees. Today’s game gets underway at 3:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Jays will send out will young righty Jacob Waguespack. Waguespack is having a decent run in the Jays’ rotation, currently sitting at a 3-1 record and a 4.00 ERA over 36 innings. He has 28 strikeouts against 10 walks, but has also beaned 3 batters while giving up 4 home runs. That brings his FIP to a still pretty good 4.19, which leads the current staff, although that’s not too much of a challenge.

Waguespack is coming off his best 2 starts at the big league level, going 6 innings in both. Last time out against the Rays, he held them off the board while surrendering 4 hits and a walk while striking out 4. The outing before that against the Royals, he allowed 1 run on 3 hits, walking 2 and getting a pair of strikeouts. The only knock in those starts that I would give him are the 6 strikeouts against 3 walks in 12 innings, but he did a great job on the whole.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees will be using an opener in this one, going with Chad Green out of the gate. This will be Green’s 10th opening assignment, honestly a lot more prevalent of a strategy employed by the Yankees than I was expecting. The Yankees have won every game that Green has been the opener for, which is a pretty impressive run. On the season, Green is 2-3 with a 4.93 ERA, although he has just a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings as an opener. So it seems the opening life is treating him well.

The Yankees don’t appear to have a true bulk guy, but rather they go to a few guys that will go a couple innings. Jonathan Holder, Nestor Cortes and Stephen Tarpley can all be expected to get a couple innings in this afternoon, although if one of them does well, or if things are tight and the big guns get in earlier, then all 3 may not make it into the game.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Bo Bichette only drew a walk last night as his only time on base, meaning that all streaks involving him actually hitting have come to a stop, including his MLB record 9 games in a row with a double. But all this means is that he can start a new streak today.

With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. headed to the IL, it would have been natural to expect his replacement to be another fielder. But that doesn’t appear to be the case, as the expectation is the recently demoted Brock Stewart will be recalled to take his place at some point today. That being said, Brock Stewart taking his place may be a technicality, as he would need to replace an injured player so he can come back quicker than 10 days, and then a position player like Billy McKinney replaces someone else, like Buddy Boshers.

Justin Smoak sat again last night, and you really have to wonder how long until they do something with him. If he’s not injured, then he’s not likely headed to the IL, so he’s just taking on a reduced role at the moment. If he’s good with that as he heads into his first foray as a Free Agent, then sure, keep going this route. But there’s also the option of releasing him, letting him catch on with a contender and enter a pennant race as a platoon and bench bat, hopefully getting himself some exposure and earning himself a little more money in the offseason (it maybe kinda worked for Steve Pearce). If the Jays do that, they can bring the red hot Rowdy Tellez up and see what they have in him.

Yankees’ Lineup

The Yankee lineup continues to power away, despite just being a group of castaways and never has beens. Kudos to the coaches over there who have figured out how to unlock player’s potential, whether it’s through a swing change, a cultural and expectation change, or a deal with the devil. Whatever it is though, it’s working.

Gleyber Torres was expected to take batting practice yesterday and then they would see how things went from there. The BP was scratched, and there is now a little more panic in Yankee land that he may be headed for the IL. Not that there is a whole of a concern for a Yankee lineup that can just plug DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela more consistently into the lineup with Torres there, but realistically Torres is the better player and the Yankees are a better team when he’s in the lineup.

Brett Gardner, after getting run last night for being too quiet, will perhaps have a little fire in his belly today.

Yesterday’s Heroes

J.D. Martinez launched a pair of home runs and also collected a pair of doubles last night, earning himself the Monster Bat award. His output helped the Red Sox to a 16-4 trouncing of the visiting Angels.

Carson Kelly, with the help of his pitchers, took down the unexpecting Dodgers last night. Kelly hit a 2 run home run in the top of the 9th to tie the game at 2 and force extras, before he hit a go ahead home run in the top of the 11th. His Diamondbacks held on for the 3-2 win, while WPA King Kelly had an impressive .681 mark on the night.

Cal Quantrill went 7 shutout innings last night, holding the visiting Rockies to just 5 hits and no free baserunners. He struck out 5 along way in his Pitcher of the Day win. The Padres were able to get him the pitching win too, as they won 7-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Green and Larry See

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs