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Game #146 Preview: Poyner (o) vs Font (o)

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Red Sox (76-69) VS Blue Jays (56-89)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Blue Jays wake up to the joy from a win the night before for the first time in over a week today as they will try to make it now 2 in a row against the visiting Red Sox. Tonight’s game is set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jays are expected to send Wilmer Font out to the mound to open this one. This will be his 11th opening assignment for the Blue Jays, and his numbers for the Jays are still holding strong. Through his first 27 innings with the Jays, he is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA, and a very impressive 2.25 FIP. He has given up just 2 home runs and 7 walks against 38 strikeouts, numbers that will definitely play if he can keep it up at anywhere near that rate.

Following Font will be Trent Thornton, who will look to improve on his 4-9 record and 5.23 ERA. While his ERA did go down in his last start, his struggles with the walk returned after a great start in that regard the time before. In his last start, he walked 3 and struck out 4 over 4.2 innings, but did manage to limit the damage a bit as he allowed 3 runs, although only one of them was earned. That was the 3rd straight start that he allowed an unearned run too, which seems to be an odd little streak.

Red Sox Starter

The Red Sox are also expected to employ the services of an opener, going with young lefty Bobby Poyner. This will be Poyner’s 6th appearance of the year and 26th of his career, but the first to start a game. Through 28.1 big league innings, he is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA and a 4.44 FIP. He put up pretty big strikeout totals in the Minors, but hasn’t found that as much now that he’s in the Majors. His ability to limit walks has at least carried forward into the Majors, so expect the pitch to be around the plate, which the Red Sox are hoping doesn’t spell trouble against the top of the Jays’ order.

This was originally supposed to be David Price’s start against the Jays, but he has been skipped over due to a wrist problem. So following Poyner will just be a parade of relievers, and the Red Sox have 15 other ones down there from which they can draw. So don’t expect this game to be done in under 3.5 hours.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Don’t be foolish and expect Anthony Alford to be in the outfield. The Blue Jays don’t seem to have any interest in seeing what he is as a player. He really should be out there today though, and I really hope they give him the opportunity.

With the Red Sox going with a lefty opener, it’ll be interesting to see how many righties Montoyo puts in the top half of the lineup, or if he’ll just go with a normal lineup knowing that there are so many relievers in the bullpen that the Red Sox can play matchups all night.

Behind the plate for this one, I would guess that it’ll be Danny Jansen since Reese McGuire caught the game last night.

Red Sox Lineup

The Mookie Betts home run right off the start last night had me worried that we would see them pummel T.J. Zeuch and the rest of the pitching staff, but the Zeuch bounced back nice and held them down pretty well. I’m hoping today’s rookie du jour in Thornton can do as well keeping the Red Sox excellent hitters off balance.

I didn’t realize Rafael Devers was at 50 doubles already on the season. In the season of the home run, it’s nice to see someone pounding out the doubles. Earl Webb has the Red Sox and MLB record at 67 set back in 1931, so I think that’s safe. But Todd Helton’s post-WW2 record of 59 may be in reach in Devers if he can have an incredible final 2 weeks.

Xander Bogaerts had the night off, but I would expect him to be back out there today. I would guess that one of Betts or Devers gets today off, and then tomorrow it will be the other.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Ten players his two home runs yesterday, but only Sean Murphy included another hit, so we’ll give him the Monster Bat award. Murphy drove in 4 as his Raiders beat the Texans, er his Athletics beat the Astros 21-7.

Kyle Seager picks up the WPA King award from last night, thanks to a big 2-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning. That home run put the Mariners up 4-3, which is what they held on to for the final score. The home run was worth .634 WPA, bumping his total to .598.

Zach Plesac threw a complete game shutout, holding the Angels to just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 to earn the Pitcher of the Day award. Cleveland poured on the runs for Plesac as well, winning 8-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Poyner and Doug Drabek.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs

(I present this to you unedited, so sorry about that. Conferences are fun!)