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Game #155 Preview: Zeuch vs Paxton

Blue Jays (63-91) vs Yankees (100-55)

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their 3 games series in New York, looking to win their 4th straight series if they can pull out a win today or tomorrow against the Division Champion Yankees. Today’s game is an early one, with first pitch set for 1:05 ET, the first MLB game today.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Young right hander T.J. Zeuch makes his Bronx debut in this the 4th outing of his career. Through his first 13.2 innings, Zeuch is 1-0 with a 4.61 ERA. He has allowed 7 runs on 14 hits, walking a concerning 8 batters. He has struck out just 10, but the strikeouts aren’t a part of his normal game, which is more about limiting hard contact and free baserunners while keeping the ball on the ground. So far the only ingredient of the three that he has had success with is keeping the ball on the ground, which is going to be extra important in the band box Yankee Stadium.

Zeuch’s last appearance was also against the Yankees, when he picked up his first career win pitching as a bulk guy last Sunday. He went 5.1 innings, allowing 3 runs (just 2 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks, while striking out a career high 5. Facing the same team back to back is always a challenge, and doing it against one of the best offenses in the game adds to that challenge, so today we will see how well Zeuch is able to make adjustments.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees will counter with Canadian lefty James Paxton, winner of 9 consecutive starts (not just decisions - starts). That run has now pushed his season record to 14-8 with a 3.88 ERA, quickly turning around a season that was looking off the rails at the end of July. Prior to the start of this great run, he was 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA, hardly the great return the Yankees were expecting. His 9-0 record with a 2.50 ERA in his last 9 starts is a lot more like the pitcher the Yankees were hoping for. Now they just need him to carry it into the Postseason.

Paxton’s season numbers against the Jays look quite different than they do against the league as a whole. On the season in general, he has struck out more than 11 batters per 9 innings, but against the high-strikeout Jays, he has just 10 in 14 innings. He has also allowed 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits and 9 walks, also allowing 4 home runs. As mentioned last week, those home runs belong to Randal Grichuk, Danny Jansen and two to Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Yankees’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Carlos Correa went 2-4 with a pair of home runs while driving in 4 to pick up the Monster Bat award. The Astros would go on to beat the Angels 6-4, so Correa was pretty instrumental in the win and getting the Astros closer to securing the best record in Baseball.

Willy Adames hit a walkoff single last night in the 11th inning, but he also had a big double in the 7th inning. His output all added up to a .581 WPA, easily enough for the WPA King title in the Rays’ 5-4 win over the fallen Red Sox.

Six different pitchers threw at least 6 shutout innings last night. Two of them threw 8, so the decision comes down to them. Mike Foltynewicz did it against the Giants while allowing 4 baserunners, while Mike Fiers did it against the Rangers while allowing just 2 baserunners. Fiers impressive start sounds just a little better than Folty’s impressive start, so we’ll give Fiers the Pitcher of the Day award in the Athletic’s 8-0 win over the Rangers.

Find the Link

Find the link between Paxton and R.A. Dickey.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs