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Game #130 Preview: Waguespack vs Maeda

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Blue Jays (52-77) vs Dodgers (84-44)

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After a hard fought battle last night, the Blue Jays will give one last effort towards avoiding the sweep at the hands of the host Dodgers. Tonight’s game gets underway at 10:10 ET (8:10 Erik’s Time) again, although I’m sure you’ve adjusted your sleep schedule by now so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Assuming they’re not going with an opener tonight, Jacob Waguespack will kick things off for the Jays. If they do opt for an opener, then Waguespack will be the bulk guy. Either way, the big rookie will look to improve upon his surprising start to his career. Through his first 45 innings, he is 4-1 with a 4.20 ERA and a nearly as good 4.52 FIP. He has 35 strikeouts to 13 walks, although that ratio looks a lot worse when you add in the 4 bean balls as well.

Waguespack bounced back pretty well his last time out in recovery from the rough outing against the Yankees. In the Yankee game, he allowed 3 runs in 3.2 innings, including surrendering a pair of home runs. His last time out against the Mariners, he allowed just 2 runs in 5.1 innings, keeping the ball in the yard while striking out 5 and walking just 1. Six of Waguespack’s nine games this year have consisted of at least 5 innings and 3 runs or fewer, which is a pretty low bar to clear, but better than anyone expected out of him this year.

Dodgers’ Starter

The Dodgers will be going with veteran righty Kenta Maeda. This will be Maeda’s 25th start, with a 1 inning relief outing also thrown in there a month ago. He is 8-8 with a 4.15 ERA, a perfectly fine back half of the rotation starter, especially when the offense is as good as it is. Through 127 innings, Maeda has managed 137 strikeouts against 43 walks and 18 home runs. That all adds up to a 4.01 FIP and a 4.17 xFIP, pretty much right in line with his ERA.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Walker Buehler shut the offense down last night, as he has been known to do when he pitches. But seeing Rowdy Tellez take Kenley Jansen deep was a pretty good consolation prize. It has been nice to see our rookies with some strong at bats against some of the best pitchers of the decade.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. didn’t start the game yesterday, likely because his knee still isn’t 100%. But it was good enough to come in as a pinch hitter and play a few innings at 3B last night, so hopefully it has responded well. It doesn’t seem as bad of an injury as initial fears. He has drawn 3 walks in this series, with Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen being the only other recipients of a walk. I think it’s pretty safe to say they’re pitching around him a little bit.

Dodgers’ Lineup

Considering how badly they pounded the Jays’ pitching on Tuesday, it was nice to see them get shut down last night. There were the obvious exceptions of Will Smith, who knocked out his 12th home run in 28 career games, and Max Muncy, who has now homered in 5 straight games.

Russell Martin hasn’t started a game yet, but I think there’s a good chance he gets the start behind the plate tonight. Jedd Gyorko also hasn’t made a start this series yet either, so if the Dodgers are looking to spread out the workload a bit, look for him to get a starting nod as well, probably at 1B as Cody Bellinger heads back out to the outfield.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Robinson Chirinos went 4-4, ripping a home run and a pair of doubles on his way to winning the Monster Bat award. His solo home run would be the only run the Astros scored though, as they fell 2-1 at the hands of the lowly Tigers.

Kevin Kiermaier had a big go ahead single in the 4th, but an even bigger game tying home run in the 9th to give him the WPA King title. His WPA on the day was .604, enough to help carry his Rays to the 7-6 win over the Mariners.

Lucas Giolito threw a complete game shutout last night, holding the Twins to just a double and a pair of singles. He struck out 12 while not allowing a free pass, easily earning the Pitcher of the Day award. The White Sox won 4-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Maeda and Andrew Cashner.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs