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Game #150 Preview: Montgomery vs Zeuch

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Yankees (98-52) vs Blue Jays (58-91)

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

The Blue Jays wrap up their 3 game series against the Yankees before they hit the road tomorrow, looking for a win today to take the series. Gametime is set for 1:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Jays will send rookie T.J. Zeuch to the mound for the 3rd time this season, still looking for the first win of his MLB career. Through his first 8.1 innings, Zeuch has allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 5 walks, also striking out 5. The strikeouts aren’t a part of Zeuch’s game, instead relying on contact management and his defense to help him out. With batters hitting the ball in the air more and more, and the Jays’ defense not being very good, Zeuch is likely to find some struggles with that strategy, especially if he can’t get the walks into a better than league average range.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees’ are activating Jordan Montgomery for this game, fresh off the Injured List after undergoing Tommy John Surgery at the beginning of 2018. He pitched nearly a full 2017 at the Major League level, plus another 6 starts in 2018, and has thrown 182.2 innings. He is 11-7 with a 3.82 ERA, but a bit higher FIP at 4.08. His strikeouts (8.23 per 9 innings), walks (3.10 per 9 innings) and home runs (1.18 per 9 innings) are all at or better than league average. If the young lefty can get to those numbers going forward, I’m sure the Yankees will be quite happy to have him back in the back of their rotation. For this one though, I wouldn’t expect more than a couple innings, and he’s just trying to get his feet wet before ramping back up in the spring.

It seems that Montgomery is expected to be following an opener in this one though. Chad Green will make his 14th opening assignment of the year, a role that he isn’t doing overly well in. While his ERA of 4.15 is better than his season mark, his FIP of 4.54 is over a full run worse than what he has done as a reliever in the later innings. The big culprit for him as an opener has been giving up home runs, as he has allowed 4 in 17.1 innings.

Lineups

This has the potential of being the worst lineup the Jays have sent out there since April, so naturally the Jays are scoring several runs.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Brett Gardner picked up the Monster Bat award for his work against the Jays yesterday, hitting a pair of home runs and also picking up a double and driving in 5. The Yankees won that one.

Christian Vazquez doubled home the first run of the game in the top of the 7th inning, and then moved the second run to third with a single in the 9th to accumulate .472 WPA on the day. That was enough for the WPA King award, as his Red Sox won 2-1 over the Phillies.

Yesterday was a big day for pitchers, as 8 different pitchers threw at least 7 innings, and 3 of them did it without allowing a run. While Anthony Desclafani allowed just 1 run, he was perhaps the most dominant. He allowed just a single baserunner, a triple that scored on a sac fly, but was outdueled by Merrill Kelly, who was one of the 3 with 7 shutout innings as the Diamondbacks won 1-0 over the Reds. The other two with the shutouts were also pitching against each other, as Jacob DeGrom pitched pretty much step to step against the Pitcher of Day, Hyun-Jin Ryu. DeGrom allowed 3 hits and beaned a guy, while the only 2 runners Ryu allowed was a pair of hits. The Mets did win this one though, beating the Dodger 3-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Montgomery and Yuli Gurriel.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs