The Blue Jays will look to make it 6 in a row, their longest winning streak since they won 7 in a row at the beginning of July 2016, as they play game 3 of 4 against the Orioles this evening. Today’s game gets underway at 7:05 again.
Blue Jays’ Starter
The Jays will turn to young lefty Thomas Pannone. Pannone has been forced into the rotation now that pretty much everyone else that was in it before is gone. This will be his 5th start of the season, and 27th appearance overall. He has given the Jays 49.2 innings, pitching to a 2-4 record with a 5.98 ERA. ERA estimators such as FIP (4.73) and SIERA (4.87) think he has done a bit better than the results he is getting. His biggest culprits are the walks, of which he has allowed 23 in 49.2 innings, too many if he’s hoping to carve out much of a career at the big league level.
Pannone has thrown a total of 5 innings against the Orioles this year, spread across a pair of relief appearances. He has done quite well holding them down though, as he has allowed just a pair of hits and a walk, keeping the O’s off the scoreboard while striking out 6. If he can give another 5 or more magnificent innings like this that would be fantastic, although just a repeat of his last start would be pretty great too. He powered through 6 innings against the Royals his last time out, his longest outing of the year, and held them to 3 runs on 4 hits.
The Orioles will counter with rotation stalwart Dylan Bundy. Now in his 4th season as a member of the Orioles rotation, the 26 year old righty is having perhaps his worst season. He is 5-11 with a 5.24 ERA, both numbers very much in line with where he was last year with an 8-16 record and a 5.45 ERA. But his FIP this year is up to a career high 5.33, up from 5.17 last year, although based on league average it is actually a smidge better this year. He is walking more batters this year, up about 0.40 per 9 innings, while his still impressive strikeout rate is down about the same amount, yet still above 1 per inning.
But you can’t talk about Dylan Bundy without mentioning the home runs. Of the 89 pitchers in baseball with at 100 innings, Bundy is sitting 3rd with a 2.01 HR/9 inning rate. Last year, among the 140 pitchers that reached that 100 inning plateau, Bundy was first with a 2.15 rate. Since the start of the 2018 season, he has allowed 64 home runs, 8 more than the second place Justin Verlander, who has thrown 91 more innings than Bundy.
Bundy has faced the Jays just once this year, back at the beginning of July, and that start went quite well for him. He worked through 6.2 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, picking up the win along the way. Brandon Drury chased him from the game with a 2 out home run in the 7th. By game score, that was his second best outing of 2019.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Randal Grichuk is expected to be ready to go for this one, just a couple days after fouling a ball off his mouth. He remarkably only has a couple loose teeth out of the whole ordeal, so that’s great news. They might just ease him into action as a DH today, although his full value lies in being able to play good defense in RF as well.
Freddy Galvis seems likely to keep drawing starts all over the infield, and with Brandon Drury also seemingly doing the same while we have 4 outfieders who are fighting for time, we’re probably sitting some rookies more than should be. As such, I suspect Cavan Biggio to have drawn the short straw today and will be on the bench.
With the lefty on the mound, I doubt we will see Chris Davis in the starting lineup, even if he is having a pretty good series against the Jays. In the first 2 games, he is 3-7 with a home run and a walk, after having similar results the last time the two teams met, where he went 4-7 with a home run, walk and a double over 2 games. Davis is actually hitting .310/.444/.552 across 36 plate appearances against the Jays, laughably better than his overall line of 188/.267/.331.
Jace Peterson is also likely to be out of the lineup today, as he tends to sit against most lefties as well.
In the place of Peterson and Davis are likely to be Richie Martin and Jose Rondon, although Martin was already in there yesterday as Stevie Wilkerson was nursing a sore knee and Hanser Alberto had the day off.
Nelson Cruz went 3-4, ripping a home run and a pair of doubles while also drawing a walk and driving in 5 en route to the Monster Bat award. That home run also gave him the decade lead, up to 332 since 2010, one more than Edwin Encarnacion. We have just 2 months left in this battle. Anyway, the Twins beat the Royals 11-9.
Jose Abreu, despite being thrown out at the plate by a pitcher playing LF in the 14th inning, gets the WPA King award. After all that fun in the 14th, he came back up in the 15th and drove in the go ahead run with a big single. The bullpen was able to hold it, and the White Sox won 4-3 over the Phillies. Abreu’s WPA King total was .460.
Lance Lynn twirled another gem last night, holding the Tigers to 1 run over 7 innings. He allowed just 4 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 10, winning the Pitcher of the Day award with relative ease. He also got the win in the game as the Rangers won 5-4.
Find the Link
Find the link between Bundy and Rick Porcello.
Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs
There probably won’t be a preview post for Sunday or Monday’s game, as I am off camping. Enjoy the games though!