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Game #17 Preview: Yarbrough vs Anderson

Rays (12-9) vs Blue Jays (7-9)

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their series against the Rays this evening at Sahlen Field, looking to win their first series of the year (assuming you don’t separate out the 4 games in Washington as 2 distinct series). Tonight’s game gets underway at 6:37 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Chase Anderson will make his second start of the year after beginning the year on the Injured List with an oblique issue. He threw 45 pitches to get him through 3 innings in his first start, and I would imagine he’ll be bumped up into the 60ish range today. In those 3 innings, he allowed 1 run on 1 hit, 2 walks and 1 strikeout.

Anderson used all four of his pitches fairly effectively, throwing 19 fastballs, 10 curves, 8 cutters and 8 changeups. The hit was off his fastball, while the strikeout came on his changeup. Last year, it was his changeup that was his best pitch as well, so if he’s able to throw that well and continue to command it, he can find success.

Rays’ Starter

Ryan Yarbrough will be making his 5th start of the season, looking to get his season back on track after a pair of ugly starts against the Red Sox. Yarbrough started the season with a pair of good starts against the Jays and Braves, totaling 11.2 innings while allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. The Red Sox beat up the lefty though, scoring 9 runs on 13 hits and 3 walks over 9.1 innings.

Now in his third season with the Rays, Yarbrough has found his success by limiting hard contact, frequently finishing with some of the lowest exit velocities against in the league. He has continued to do so this year as well, and as a result, despite not getting many strikeouts, he can still be a very serviceable pitcher.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The Jays’ bats are certainly taking to Sahlen Field, scoring double digit runs on 7 and 6 home runs over the last two games. The offensive onslaught has helped pull them out of the bottom of the league in a lot of categories, particularly the runs per game category, where they were continually struggling to score more than 3 runs. They’re still near the bottom of the list, but at least there’s a gap between them and last place now.

The only Blue Jays’ starting position player to not record a home run over the last two games is Lourdes Gurriel Jr., so one would have to assume that today is his turn to hit a couple out of the stadium. He has been struggling a bit to start the year, so it would be nice to see his bat get going as well.

With a lefty opponent on the mound for the first time in over a week, we’ll probably see Brandon Drury draw the start at third base. Travis Shaw has been doing quite well both with the bat and with the glove at third base so far, but he still shouldn’t be playing against lefties, although Drury really isn’t an answer.

Rays’ Lineup

I would imagine we’ll see much of the same lineup as yesterday, except I would imagine Yandy Diaz will be back in the lineup as well, and Mike Zunino likely doesn’t get two days off from catching.

Brandon Lowe continued his excellent season yesterday, going 2-4 with a two-run home run. His 194 wRC+ so far this year has him 4th in the Majors and 1st in the American League in that category, as we sit here now a little over a third of the way through the Rays’ season.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Teoscar Hernandez, who went 3-5 with a pair of homers and a single for the Jays, picks up the Monster Bat award. He’s the first Blue Jay this year to take home the hardware, which is really unsurprising, but it’s still nice to see one of our own take home some awards, just as it was nice to see the 12-4 win over the Rays.

Lance Lynn pitched the Major League’s 5th (and just 3rd of 9 innings) complete game of the season last night, more than good enough to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. Lynn allowed 2 runs (just 1 earned) on 2 hits with no walks and 6 strikeouts over his 9 innings. The Rangers beat the Rockies 3-2 in a tight back and forth game, which also means that Lynn easily gets the WPA King award as well, with a great .665 mark.

Find the Link

Find the link between Brandon Lowe and Dansby Swanson.