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Game #122 Preview: Jurado vs Ramirez (o)

Rangers (59-58) vs Blue Jays (49-72)

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

After earning the series split against the Yankees, the Blue Jays next welcome the Rangers into town for a 3 game series. Tonight’s game is set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Newly minted Blue Jay Neil Ramirez is set to get the opening assignment in his Blue Jay debut. Ramirez started his season in the Cleveland organization, where he got into 16 games at the Major League level. In 16.2 innings, he pitched to a 5.40 ERA with 18 strikeouts, 9 walks and 5 home runs, numbers that don’t look so good outside of the strikeouts. Naturally, he was eventually released by Cleveland, and the Blue Jays took a shot on him on a MInor League contract. He pitched 2 games in the Minors before yesterday’s callup, throwing 2 shutout innings in total with 3 strikeouts, a hit and a bean ball. Today will be his first ever start at the Major League level.

Following Ramirez is likely to be Zach Godley, the other newly added piece. He last pitched on Friday, shortly after being added to the organization himself. If it isn’t Godley (or even if it is), expect Brock Stewart to get some work in this game as well. Maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see Ken Giles come and finish it out too.

Rangers’ Starter

The Rangers will go with young righty Ariel Jurado, making his 15th start of the season and 25th appearance overall. Across 93 innings, Jurado is 6-7 with a 4.74 ERA and a nearly equal 4.61 FIP. He has done well limiting walks (2.81 per 9 innings) and keeping the ball in the yard (1.26 per 9 innings), which is what is helping keep his FIP in the league average range as his strikeout rate (6.68 per 9 innings) is one of the lowest in baseball.

Jurado has had 1 inning against the Jays this year when the two teams met back at the beginning of May. He pitched the top of the 12th inning of a 0-0 game, giving up leadoff singles to Brandon Drury and Teoscar Hernandez, before Danny Jansen’s sacrifice bunt. The bunt was not fielded well as Jurado threw it away, allowing Drury to score. That ended up being the only run of the game, as the Jays failed to cash in any more runs, but Ken Giles struck out the side to lock down the game in the bottom of the 9th.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will likely be back in the lineup after sitting out most of the game last night, save for an epic 13 pitch battle against Aroldis Chapman.

Bo Bichette had a pair of hits yesterday to keep his career opening on base streak alive. He also didn’t strike out yesterday, which ended an 8 game streak of him doing that, which seems long for him.

Danny Jansen is also likely to be back behind the plate after getting yesterday afternoon off.

Rangers’ Lineup

Joey Gallo has been out of the lineup for a few weeks with an injured wrist, and his return doesn’t seem likely any time soon, which is a shame given how much fun he is to watch at the plate. He appears to be the only Ranger position player down with an injury right now, which is weird after seeing the Yankees’ lineup.

In Gallo’s absence, the team doesn’t have any real standout offensive player, although Danny Santana, Shin-Soo Choo and Willie Calhoun all have wRC+ above 115, while Hunter Pence also qualifies for that cutoff but gets most of his action against lefties. Logan Forsythe is the only other regular with at least league average production, currently sitting right at the 100 wRC+ mark.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Jorge Soler went 3-3, hitting a pair of home runs, a double, drawing a walk and taking a bean ball, all while driving in 5 runs and earning the Monster Bat award. His offensive output was more than enough for the Royals to take down the Tigers 10-2.

There were 7 players last night, including 3 pitchers, who had a WPA of at least .500, which makes this probably the best race of WPA King we’ve ever had. The title ultimately goes to Rio Ruiz, who hit a 2 run walkoff home run for the Orioles off Roberto Osuna, capping a crazy back and forth 9th inning that saw both teams score 3 runs off the closer. Ruiz’s WPA King total for the day was .836, thanks to the home run that gave him .900, in the Orioles 8-7 win over the Astros.

Ryan Yarbrough was inexplicably pulled with 2 outs and nobody on in the 9th inning, having thrown 99 pitches and on the cusp of a complete game shutout. Ultimately, Yarbrough gets the Pitcher of the Day award, holding the Mariners to just 3 singles and no other baserunners through 8.2 innings, striking out 8. The Rays held on and won 1-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Jurado and a man whose Spanish nickname is “the horse”.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs