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Game #162 Preview: Snell vs Buchholz

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Rays (96-65) vs Blue Jays (66-95)

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Here we are, game #162 of the long season as the Blue Jays go home after today and the Rays head down to Oakland to take on the Athletics in the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday. Today’s game gets underway at 3:07 ET, roughly the same time as the other 14 games across the league do as well.

Blue Jays’ Starter

We get the misfortune of seeing Clay Buchholz one last time, for our final memory of this lost season. Buchholz will bring his 1-5 record with a 7.00 ERA into this game, looking to improve it at least somewhat as he heads back into Free Agency this winter. I personally wish this start was being given to any other kid, but I’ve been romanticized by this final game of the season since 1998.

Buchholz has faced the Rays twice this year, and both starts were actually among his best. He threw 6 innings in each, combining to allow 5 runs (4 earned) on 13 hits, walking none and striking out 5 while allowing a home run to Mike Zunino.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays will counter with 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, who is very much not in conversation for the award this year. After dominating the league to a 21-5 record with a 1.89 ERA last year, Snell has fought injury and inconsistency this year to a 6-7 record and a 4.21 ERA. His 3.34 FIP suggests he pitched a lot better than that though, as he has really done an excellent job at getting strikeouts (12.40 per 9 innings) while being about league average at walks and home runs. However, the injuries have taken their toll too, as he missed over a month and a half with elbow problems, coming back a couple weeks ago. This would be his 3rd start since return from that injury, and as he ramps up his work load heading in to the postseason, the Rays are hoping he can get them about 3 innings today.

Snell has faced the Jays just twice this season, and has a good game and a great game under his belt. Both starts lasted just 6 innings, with one being a 2 run game on 6 hits and a pair of walks, with 5 strikeouts and a home run allowed to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The other start was one of Snell’s best of the year, as he threw 6 shutout innings with allowing just a hit and a walk while striking out 9.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

No Bo Bichette. No Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. Injuries have ended both of their seasons.

Rays’ Lineup

They haven’t posted their lineup yet. It’ll probably be full of backups as today means nothing and their eyes are focused on Wednesday.

Yesterdays’ Heroes

Ian Happ went 3-5 with a pair of home runs, driving in 4 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His offensive output helped the Cubs beat the Cardinals 8-6, putting a temporary hold on the Cardinals’ celebrations.

Christian Walker also hit a pair of home runs, driving in 5 runs, including a 2-out Grand Slam in the bottom of the 7th that turned a 5-2 deficit into a 6-5 lead. The Diamondbacks would hold on to win the game 6-5 over the Padres. Walker’s Grand Slam contributed .591 WPA to his WPA King total of .735.

Hyun-Jin Ryu worked 7 shutout innings, allowing just 5 hits and walking none while striking out 7 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He also earned the win, his 14th of the season, in the Dodgers’ 2-0 win over the Giants.

Find the Link

Find the link between Snell and Brad Hawpe.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs