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Game #149 Preview: Paxton vs Waguespack

Yankees (97-52) vs Blue Jays (58-90)

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

After a wonderful walkoff last night, the Blue Jays will get right back on the horse and try to take game 2 of this 3 game set against the Yankees. Today’s game is an afternoon affair, set to get underway at 3:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Rookie Jacob Waguespack heads out to the mound, making his 11th start and 14th appearance overall. He has thrown a total of 63.1 innings, pitching to a 4-4 record with a 4.55 ERA. His ERA has climbed in each of his last 3 starts, as I am sure he is tiring as the season draws to a close and he gets closer to establishing a new high in innings pitched in a year.

Waguespack has faced the Yankees just once this year, back on August 10 as the bulk guy. Things didn’t go overly well for him, as he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2 and allowing 2 home runs. Gary Sanchez hit a solo home run off him in the 4th inning, while Gio Urshela knocked him out of the game with a 2-out, 2 run home run in the 6th.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees will counter with their big offseason acquisition James Paxton, and while he may have disappointed some fans in the early going, he has really turned things up recently. Overall, Paxton is 13-6 with a 3.96 ERA, and a pretty much matching 3.92 FIP and 3.95 xFIP. Even his SIERA is right there at 3.92. However, Paxton’s season has really started improving since the trade deadline, as he has earned the win in all 8 of his starts since then. He has a 2.57 ERA in 49 innings, pretty much on the back of reducing his home run rate. He has allowed just 5, a rate of 0.92 per 9 innings on a 9.6% HR/FB rate. Prior to the beginning of August, both values were nearly double that.

Paxton has made two starts against the Jays this year with both coming back in June, and the young Jays’ bats have had their way with him. In 9 innings, he has allowed 10 runs (9 earned) on 12 hits and 7 walks, striking out 7 and allowing 4 home runs. Those home runs belong to Randal Grichuk, Danny Jansen, and 2 to Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Speaking of Gurriel...

And naturally, no Alford.

Yankees’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Willson Contreras went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, a single and a walk, driving in 2 to pick up the Monster Bat award. He was just a cog in the Cubs’ 17-8 win over the Pirates.

Bo Bichette, with his walk off home run as well as getting on base in the bottom of the 9th trying to set up the win, gets the WPA King award. Bichette’s big night was worth .515 WPA in the Jays’ 6-5 win over the Yankees.

Gerrit Cole pitched last night, so it’s not surprising that he picks up the Pitcher of the Day award. He made it through 8 innings, allowing only an unearned run on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 11. He led his Astros to the 4-1 win over the Royals.

Find the Link

Find the link between Paxton and R.A. Dickey

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs