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Game #24 Preview: Shoemaker vs Yarbrough

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Blue Jays (12-11) vs Rays (17-9)

Philadelphia Phillies v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Two Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Blue Jays look to win their 6th game in a row as they descend upon Tropicana Field to take on the Rays. First pitch of this 4 game series is set for 6:40 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Matt Shoemaker will make his 5th start of the year, which will match the total he made last year before blowing his knee in a rundown. This year’s results are a far cry from the numbers he put up last year when he was 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA over 28.2 innings. So far this year, he is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA over 20.2 innings. Even if he threw 8 shutout innings today to match the innings pitched, his ERA would still be over twice as high.

Shoemaker faced the Rays his last time out, and things went really well for him for the first few innings, facing the minimum through 3 innings with 4 strikeouts. The 4th inning didn’t go quite as well, but Shoemaker threw a pitch that he thought got him out of the inning that was called a ball, and 2 pitches later Shoemaker threw a meatball to Yoshi Tsutsugo, who hit a 3-run home run. Shoemaker struck out Willy Adames, yelled at home plate umpire Vic Carapazza, and was ejected after 4 innings and 60 pitches. If his stuff can look as good as it did in that start, and he can find a bit better of an umpire, he could be in line for a solid start today.

Rays’ Starter

Lefty Ryan Yarbrough will get the ball for the Rays, still looking for his first win of 2020 in this his 6th start. He is 0-2 with a 4.13 ERA, the exact same ERA he put up last season, and just a bit higher than the 3.91 ERA from his rookie season.

This will be Yarbrough’s third start against the Blue Jays, and the Jays will hopefully be able to muster some form of offense against him. In 8.1 innings (his last start mercifully shortened by rain), the Blue Jays batters have yet to score, collecting 8 hits and a walk, striking out twice. They have managed just 4 hard hit balls, none of which have gone for extra bases. Yarbrough is the exact type of pitcher that seems to chew through this lineup.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With Anthony Alford being DFA’d yesterday, and Billy McKinney heading back to the Taxi Squad after yesterday’s double header, the Blue Jays seem likely to just have a 3 man bench at the moment, which means Cavan Biggio is the backup outfielder. I haven’t actually officially seen that McKinney is headed back down, but I’m fairly certain he is going to anyway. A bench of Joe Panik, Brandon Drury and whoever isn’t catching that day really doesn’t seem like a strength to me.

Randal Grichuk went 0-8 yesterday on the heels of the big series against the Orioles. Hopefully he can figure out how to do some significant damage like he did against the Orioles against the good teams as well.

It was nice seeing Lourdes Gurriel Jr. pick up some huge hits yesterday, as that’s another bat that we need some consistency out of.

Rays’ Lineup

When we last saw the Rays (last weekend) Brandon Lowe was tearing the place up, pacing the American League in wRC+. I can report that he still is, currently sitting at a 205 mark thanks to a week that saw him go 2-8 with a home run and 3 walks.

The Rays’ bats put together a solid series against the Yankees this past series, sweeping them with the Yankees sending Masahiro Tanaka, Gerrit Cole and James Paxton to the mound. Overall they hit .243/.307/.495 (119 wRC+ as a group) and outscored the Yankees 20-10 in the 3 games.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Ryan McMahon went 2-3 with a pair of home runs and walks, driving in 4 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His output wasn’t enough though, as the Astros beat the Rockies 10-8 in a typical Coors Field game.

Cavan Biggio, thanks to his big RBI double to tie things up in game 1 of yesterday’s double header, gets the WPA King title. He had a .342 WPA in game 1, followed by an .054 mark in game 2, giving him a total of .396, just narrowly edging out Shane Bieber’s .392 runner up mark.

Lucas Giolito went 7 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and a walk while striking out an impressive 13 batters to pick up the Pitcher of the Day honours. He also picked up the win in the White Sox’ 9-0 stomping of the Tigers.

Find the Link

Find the link between Brandon Lowe, Tommy La Stella and Hunter Pence.