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Game #20 Preview: Pearson vs LeBlanc

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Blue Jays (8-11) vs Orioles (12-10)

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After the big win last night, the Blue Jays will look to make it two in a row at Camden Yards in the second of three games against the Orioles. Tonight’s game is also a later one, set to begin at 7:35 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Young phenom Nate Pearson will be making his 4th start of the season tonight, fresh off his first Major League beatdown. His last time out against the Marlins, the young fireballer allowed 7 runs (although just 4 earned) on 5 hits, combining a troublesome 4 walks with just 1 strikeout.

This will be Pearson’s debut against the AL East, after getting his first 3 starts in interleague action against the Nationals, Braves and Marlins. Each start has progressively gotten worse for him, but I’m hoping (and expecting) that he can right his ship a bit here tonight against the Orioles.

Orioles’ Starter

Veteran lefty Wade LeBlanc will make his 5th start of the season for the Orioles. The lefty is off to a rough start to the season, currently sporting a 7.13 ERA across 17.2 innings, but he does sport the non-matching 1-0 record, so I guess he’s good?

LeBlanc has seen an uptick in his velocity so far this year, although for the soft tossing lefty, an uptick in velocity still keeps him pretty low. He’s currently averaging about 88.7 mph on his sinker and 87.7 mph on his four seamer, both all time high marks for him according to Baseball Savant. This is probably bad news for the Jays, who seem to feast on hard stuff and flail helplessly against the soft stuff, so we’ll see how this goes.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Rowdy Tellez left yesterday’s game after getting roughed up a little bit on a play at first. He entered concussion protocol, and I can’t imagine he’ll be ready for the game tonight. That means the DH spot is open, and I’m hoping that also means Teoscar Hernandez gets to play there and Anthony Alford is in the outfield.

In the infield, I would imagine Travis Shaw is on the bench against the lefty, which means Brandon Drury will be in at 3B. That’s a good thing, in the sense that Drury wouldn’t be at SS, and I’m hoping that means Santiago Espinal gets the start there as well.

Orioles’ Lineup

Jose Iglesias was out of yesterday’s lineup for the second straight day yesterday, dealing with a quadriceps problem that he hasn’t quite been able to shake. There’s a chance he’s back in the lineup tonight, but that would explain his absence as well.

Going from the finesse lefty in Ryu yesterday to the power arm of Pearson is a fun thing to throw at teams, and I’m sure we’ll see a bit of a different lineup tonight from last night. The Orioles seem to be running a few platoons, with Chris Davis and former Blue Jay Dwight Smith Jr. likely to be in the lineup tonight.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Nine different players had a multi-homer game yesterday, so picking the Monster Bat award winner is a bit tougher, but I’ll give it to Brad Miller. Not only did he have a 2 homer game in a 5-4 loss to the Cubs, he also was the difference maker with a 2-run double in the other game of their double header, when the Cardinals won 3-1. In total, Miller was 3-5 with his 2 home runs and a double, collecting a walk as well and driving in 5.

There were also a pair of walk off home runs last night, with Tommy La Stella and Dansby Swanson both hitting 2-run home runs to lead their team to victory by a run. But Swanson did his with 2 outs as opposed to just 1, which is worth more WPA and makes him our WPA King. Swanson’s total for the day was .865 in the Braves 7-6 win over the Nationals.

Zac Gallen threw 7 very strong innings yesterday, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and walk while striking out 8 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day win. Unfortunately for his record, his bullpen blew it in the 8th inning and didn’t allow Gallen to pick up the pitcher’s win, but his Diamondbacks did come back for the 4-3 win over the Athletics.

Find the Link

Find the link between Jose Iglesias and Carlos Pena.