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Game #160 Preview: Glasnow vs Zeuch

Rays (95-64) vs Blue Jays (65-94)

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Blue Jays welcome the Rays to town for the final series of 2019. The Rays, currently holding a 2 game lead over Cleveland for the second Wild Card spot, are still playing for something this weekend, so the Jays will be given the chance to play spoiler. Tonight’s game gets underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

T.J. Zeuch will make his 3rd career start and 5th appearance overall, as he has also worked behind an opener twice. In total, he has thrown 17.2 innings, pitching to a 1-1 record and a 4.58 ERA. His FIP is over a run better at 3.51, as he has allowed just 1 home run, which even with his groundball ability, isn’t a sustainable rate.

Zeuch has only thrown 104.1 innings across 3 levels this year, a fairly significant step back from the 156.1 innings he threw last year. He got some work in in Spring Training, but then was sidelined for a few months with a tight lat. But he seems to be being held back in September this year, which is a bit surprising if he’s healthy and well short of how much he threw last year. But I’m going to assume the club is monitoring his workload because he actually is running out of energy as the season winds down.

Rays’ Starter

Tyler Glasnow will make his 12th start of the season, and 4th since coming back from forearm tightness that kept him out for nearly four months. Overall he is 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA and 2.23 FIP. Since coming back, he has thrown 8 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, walking 3 and striking out a very impressive/crazy 17. The two runs that he allowed came via a 2-run home run from Randal Grichuk in his first outing back with the Rays, the only time this year he faced the Jays. His 3 outings this month have been 2, 3 and 3 innings, and with the playoffs looming, I would imagine they’ll want to push him to 4 or 5 innings today if they can.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The latest update on Bo Bichette that I have seen is that the best case scenario for him would be seeing him DH on Sunday. So even though he has recently seen improvement, don’t expect to see him on the field before the season is done.

Do expect to see Cavan Biggio though, who will look to extend his on base streak to 27 games. Since the Jays let Freddy Galvis go, Biggio has started all but 4 games at second base, and I would imagine he will all weekend.

Bryvic Valera has started back to back games at SS, batting first in the first one and second in the second one. He hasn’t looked super smooth at SS, although he is sufficient. At the plate, he has sometimes looked lost, and I really wonder why he’s batting in the top 2 spots. I would imagine he continues to get reps at SS while Richard Ureña and Bo Bichette are both out.

Rays’ Lineup

With the Wild Card spot not quite wrapped up, and also trying to take over the hosting duties from the Athletics (the A’s hold a 1 game lead), look for the Rays to run out their ‘A’ lineup all weekend.

That includes Blue Jay killer Austin Meadows, who is hitting .446/.514/.862 with 5 doubles/triples and 7 home runs in 16 games against the Jays.

The Rays are currently without the services of trade deadline acquisition and old friend Eric Sogard. Sogard remains out of action as he tries to overcome his foot injury that he suffered after fouling a ball off it the last time these two teams met on September 6. He worked his way back to the starting lineup once, but continues to be nagged by the injury enough that he just can’t quite play. That’s unfortunate timing for him, and hopefully he can get it sorted out before next week rolls around.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Daniel Palka went 2-3 with a pair of home runs and a walk, good enough to pick up the Monster Bat award. He helped the White Sox beat Cleveland 8-0, driving them just a little further away from finding a playoff spot.

Luke Bard came into a tie game in the 8th inning last night, facing a 1 out bases loaded situation, with George Springer at the plate. It took him 4 pitches, but he managed to get Springer to ground into the inning ending double play, preserving the tie. Bard would go on to pitch a clean 9th inning as well, sending the game to extra innings where the Angels would eventually win 4-3 over the Astros’. Bard’s big moment gets him the WPA King award with a .419 mark, and knocked the Astros back to 2 games up on the Yankees for the top spot in the AL.

Jordan Yamamoto threw 6 shutout innings, allowing just a single hit while walking 3 and striking out 10 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He held down the Mets long enough for his Marlins to eventually pull out the 4-2 win.

Find the Link

Find the link between Glasnow and Jake Odorizzi.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs