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Game #161 Preview: Yarbrough vs Thornton

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Rays (Going to the Postseason) vs Blue Jays (are not)

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

A day after watching the Rays the clinch a playoff berth, the Blue Jays will go right back out to face them again, trying to at least crush their hopes of hosting the Wild Card game. The Athletics hold both a 1 game lead and the tiebreaker, so the Rays need to win both and the A’s need to lose both if the Rays are to host. We’ll see how that goes this afternoon, with today’s game set to start at 3:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Trent Thornton will make his 32nd and final appearance of 2019. He enters play with a 5-9 record and 5.00 ERA. I’m sure he would love to walk away from this season with neither of those numbers containing a 5, although I’m sure he’ll be pretty happy with his season regardless. He came into 2019 seemingly without a chance at cracking the rotation, but after injuries to Clay Buchholz, Clayton Richard and Ryan Borucki kept them all out of the rotation to start the season, Thornton found his way into the rotation and only missed one start this year. He’ll go into next year probably a bit more sure of his standing in the organization.

Thornton has faced the Rays 4 times already this season, and hasn’t really had a good time while doing so. His last start was his best, where he allowed 3 runs, but just 1 earned, over 4.2 innings. In total he has an 8.44 ERA over 16 innings, surrendering 6 home runs, walking/beaning 11 and striking out 14. 13 of the 27 hits he has surrendered to the Rays have gone for extra bases.

Rays’ Starter

It isn’t officially listed, but left hander Ryan Yarbrough will make the start for the Rays. This would be Yarbrough’s 28th appearance and 14th start. On the season he is 11-5 with a 4.08 ERA, with an even nicer looking 3.46 FIP. He has gotten to that low mark thanks to an exceptional walk rate, walking just 18 batters in 136.2 innings.

Yarbrough has faced the Jays on 4 separate occasions this year, and has likely enjoyed every single one of them. In 15.2 innings, he has allowed 4 runs, but just 2 earned, on 10 hits and 3 walks with 11 strikeouts. He has held Jays hitters to a .217 wOBA, pretty much like the entire team is Jonathan Davis.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Cavan Biggio once again got on base, tying Russ Adams with the Blue Jays rookie record of getting on base in 27 straight games. It’s a funny record, because it is limited to being a rookie, so Biggio could run this streak into next year, but the record could only stretch to 29 games. He’ll be in the game again today, but don’t expect another bunt double from him anytime soon.

Someone who could really learn to do the bunt double is Rowdy Tellez, who continues to see immense shifts against him at the plate. If he’s not going to hit it over them or through them often, then he should really consider a different strategy, especially when he isn’t the tying run.

EDIT - Oh look, I hit publish and the lineup is out.

OMG!!!! ANTHONY ALFORD!!!!!!

Rays’ Lineup

Typically a day like today would be reserved for the hangover lineup, but since the Rays are still playing for home field advantage, they probably will run out most of their lineups, with maybe the exception of guys that look like this:

Ji-Man Choi joined Eric Sogard on the “I fouled a ball off my foot” inactive list on Thursday, and like Sogard is questionable that he’ll play today or tomorrow.

Austin Meadows is probably going to get a hit off Thornton today. Meadows is 7-9 with 3 home runs, a double and a pair of walks in their short history against each other.

EDIT - The Rays’ have a posted lineup too!

Yesterday’s Heroes

Kevin Newman went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and a walk, driving in 5 to pick up the Monster Bat award in aiding the Pirates win. His second home run was a 2-out, 2-run home run that turned a 5-4 deficit into the 6-5 walkoff win over the Reds. That hit alone was worth .845 WPA, bringing his WPA King total to .972.

Asher Wojciechowski threw 6 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits, a walk and a bean ball while striking out 6 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day honours. He helped the Orioles to the 4-1 win over the Red Sox.

Find the Link

Find the link between Yarbrough and David Price.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs