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Game #14 Preview: Hernandez vs Ryu

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Marlins (7-3) vs Blue Jays (5-8)

Washington Nationals v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Blue Jays have finally made it to their home away from home at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. They hold their “Home” Opener tonight against the Marlins, with gametime set for 6:35 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his fourth start as a Blue Jay, looking to build on the success that earned him his first win as a Blue Jay his last time out. Over 5 shutout innings against the Braves, Ryu allowed just one hit while striking out, but walked a very uncharacteristic 3 batters. He has now walked 7 batters in 14 innings this year, after walking just 24 in 182.2 innings last season.

The biggest difference in Ryu’s last start was the quality of his changeup. He finished 6 of his 8 strikeouts with it after recording just 1 strikeout with it in his first two games total. In fact, it was his changeup in his second start that caused him his most problems, as 5 of the 9 hits he allowed came off the pitch, and he didn’t record a single out. It’s pretty safe to say that he needs that pitch to be as effective as it was his last time out.

Marlins’ Starter

The Marlins will give 25 year old righty Elieser Hernandez his second start of the year, after seeing him for 21 starts and 32 relief appearances since the start of 2018. Overall across 152.1 innings, Hernandez has a 5-12 record with a 4.96 ERA. A flyball pitcher, Hernandez has had his struggles with the longball, something that the friendly confines of Sahlen Field might make even more challenging for him.

Hernandez is pretty much a two pitch pitcher, relying on a 90 mph fastball and a slider that is about 10 mph below that. He will very infrequently throw a changeup, but he uses the fastball to set them up, and the slider to knock them down. One thing to watch out for with Hernandez is his wildness, as he has beaned 2 batters in 4.1 innings already this year, and has a near Loupian career rate of 13 over his 152.1 innings.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With a starter so fastball-slider heavy, expect to see a strong cohort of lefties facing off against Hernandez. Rowdy Tellez, Travis Shaw and Cavan Biggio will no doubt be in the lineup, but Joe Panik and maybe even Reese McGuire could find there way in there as well.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. returning to Sahlen Field, part of me feels like there’s some “returning to his roots to correct himself” storyline here. I know it’s crap, but it’s also really hard to not be romantic about baseball. Like, look at this:

Marlins’ Lineup

The Marlins started the year with a bunch of unknown players, and now that half of their team has been removed from the roster due to testing positive with COVID-19, they’re even more unrecognizable.

Old a friend Jon Berti is a starting middle infielder, and is at least doing well on the defensive side. Other former AL East names you may recognize on the team include Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson, Jesús Aguilar, Matt Joyce, Francisco Cervelli, Ryan Lavarnway and Logan Forsythe.

The big name to watch for in the lineup is Brian Anderson. The powerful third baseman has had back to back years with a WAR over 3, and he’s off to a strong start again, currently holding a wRC+ of 171. He and Aguilar are doing their best to help carry this team that is off to a surprising 7-3 start.

(Just a comment on their bullpen - the current 11 man staff is comprised entirely of players added to the team since December, including most recently former Blue Jay Brian Moran)

Yesterday’s Heroes

I wrote this last night, at a time when only 5 of the 10 games have finished, so this list will be incomplete at best and laughably wrong at worst, as someone like Max Stassi hits a couple home runs to steal some hardware.

As of now, though, I’ll give the Monster Bat award to Matt Chapman, who is currently still playing in the 5th inning, but is already 3-3 with a pair of home runs and a triple with 6 RBI. He’s also currently pacing the night in WPA at .401, so provided he doesn’t fall below Kyle Lewis’ .339 mark, Chapman can have the WPA King title too. (NOTE: As I make my way through this article giving it a quick review, I received a notice that Chapman lined into a double play, dropping his WPA down to .315. Kyle Lewis all of a sudden looks a little better).

Fangraphs is being fun tonight in not wanting to show me the live stats for pitchers, so I’ll just wing it and give Patrick Corbin the Pitcher of the Day award, even though he was pitching against the Mets. He went 6 innings, allowing just a single run on 5 hits and a pair of walks, striking out 4. The Mets were pulverized by the Nationals 16-4, so Corbin wasn’t a huge factor in the game, but he still got himself the big W.

Find the Link

Find the link between Brian Anderson and James McCann.

I’m off on a nice little 3 day golfing trip, so that’s why I’m mailing this one in, and I won’t be doing a preview for Wednesday’s game. With no game on Thursday, Nate Day is the only one that you’ll be left without the abundance of knowledge I heap upon you. For the FTL, I’ll check in at some point, but just know that fishedin is correct.