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Game #159 Preview: Ynoa vs Waguespack

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Orioles (52-106) vs Blue Jays (64-94)

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Blue Jays wrap up their 3 game series against the Orioles, looking to pick up the series win. Tonight’s game is set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Right hander Jacob Waguespack will make the 13th start and 16th appearance of his rookie season, one where he certainly did better than most expectations placed in front of him. As an unheralded deadline deal return for Aaron Loup last year, he made it to the Majors this year, posting a 4-5 record with a 4.75 ERA. His FIP is a bit worse at 5.11, owing largely to his inability to generate many strikeouts. His walk rate and his home run rate are just a bit above league average (0.09 per 9 innings for each), but his strikeout rate of 7.25 is 1.6 per 9 innings short of the league average, and in this day of baseball, you are going to struggle a bit as a pitcher with that kind of profile. It doesn’t mean you can’t have moderate success though, which is what Waguespack has done this year.

Orioles’ Starter

Gabriel Ynoa will make his 13th start of the year, and 36th appearance overall. Through his first 106.2 innings, he is 1-9 with a 5.65 ERA, struggling through a lot of home runs and not many strikeouts. He is at least limiting the walks, having only allowed 24 on the season. But it is the 122 hits, 27 home runs and just 62 strikeouts that are really hurting him.

Ynoa faced the Jays last week, and he was pretty dominant. He pitched into the 7th, and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and no walks, striking out just 1 and allowing 2 home runs. The Jays continued to pile on in the 7th after he left the game, and Ynoa was stuck with the loss, but it was one of his better starts of the season. He allowed 2 runs in the 4th and then his bequeathed runner scored in the 7th. The 2 home runs were back to back by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Cavan Biggio in the 4th inning.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Yesterday’s outfield combined to go 1-11 with a walk and 5 strikeouts, 3 of those strikeouts belonging to Derek Fisher, who also had the hit. Anthony Alford got the rare start after his big night, and chipped in the walk and the other 2 strikeouts. If I had to guess, neither will be in the lineup tonight, although I’m going to hold out hope for an Alford start again.

Cavan Biggio picked up a walk last night, but no hit, so his hitting streak dies at 7 games, but his on base streak is still going strong at 25. He has now reached base in 83 of his 96 games this season.

As of Monday, Bo Bichette has yet to have cleared the concussion protocol, and with only 5 days until the end of the season, it is seeming likely he is done for the year. He’s still hopeful, and probably will be until the game is over on Sunday, but I don’t think it makes sense for him to come back this season.

Orioles’ Lineup

The top three of Jonathan Villar, Austin Hays and Trey Mancini continued their onslaught last night. Led by Mancini’s 5 hit night, they combined to go 6-15 with a pair of walks, scoring 4 runs and driving in 2.

A lot of the damage last night came from old friend Dwight Smith Jr., who went 3-4 with a home run and 3 RBI. It was one of Smith’s first 3 hit game since June, as he really struggled in July and missed August with a calf injury. But if he gets into a game today, it will be the 100th of the season for him, a threshold I never thought he’d reach in 2019 if you asked me a year ago.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Jose Ramirez, in his return from hamate surgery less than a month ago, went 2-3 with a pair of home runs, driving in 7 to pick up the Monster Bat award. He was instrumental in Cleveland‘s dismantling of the White Sox 11-0. Cleveland’s win helped tighten up the AL Wild Card race, as they’re a game back of the Athletics for the top spot, while the Rays are sitting right in the middle of the two.

Michael Conforto hit a pair of home runs yesterday as well, a pair of 2 run shots. The first one was in the 7th inning, getting the Mets on the board down 4-2. In the bottom of the 9th, he tied it up 4-4 to send it to extra innings. He was forced out at the plate in the bottom of the 11th, right before Brandon Nimmo won it with a walk off walk (also known as a shrimp). Conforto, for his part, was worth .714 WPA to win the WPA King title is the Mets’ 5-4 win. The win mathematically keeps them alive, but with 5 games to go, it’s not looking so good.

Three different pitchers threw 7 shutout innings with at least 10 strikeouts last night, a pretty impressive feat. Mike Clevinger struck out 10 White Sox while allowing 5 hits and a walk. Gerrit Cole struck out 14 Mariners and allowed 2 hits and no walks. But the Pitcher of the Day award will go to Jack Flaherty, who struck out 12 Diamondbacks while allowing a pair of walks and a single. That single came in the 7th inning, and got through on a bad hop to ruin his bid at a no-hitter. His team’s offense would also have ruined that chance too, as the Cardinals and Diamondbacks played to the 19th inning, with the Diamondbacks eventually walking it off nearly 7 hours after it started.

Find the Link

Find the link between Ynoa and Richard Bleier.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs