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Game #33 Preview: Akin vs Anderson

Orioles (14-19) vs Blue Jays (18-14)

MLB: AUG 30 Orioles at Blue Jays Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Blue Jays will wrap up their 4 game series against the Orioles this afternoon, looking to take the 4 game sweep. Today’s game begins at 2:07 EDT, so do what you need to to take the afternoon off.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Chase Anderson will be making his 5th start of the season, and after ramping up his workload through his first 4, he should be ready to go for a normal workload. He threw 83 pitches his last time out, building up from 78 the time before after his first two went 45 and 59 pitches. This season of no Spring Training and no Minor League system to get rehab assignments in makes for some very interesting pitching assignments.

Through his 14.2 innings so far this season, Anderson has yet to earn a decision and is sitting with a 3.68 ERA. He has allowed 8 runs, but just 6 earned, on 17 hits and 4 walks, striking out just 10. His ability to limit walks thus far is a nice feature, as his BB% is the lowest of any pitcher on the Jays’ staff who has made a start.

Orioles’ Starter

Today’s starter was supposed to be Tommy Milone, but he was traded to the Braves yesterday. Shortly after the trade, Keegan Akin was recalled and seems most likely to get the start in the game today.

Akin has made two appearances so far this season - a successful 1 batter outing 5 days ago, and a 3 inning relief appearances 2.5 weeks ago. That relief appearances didn’t go quite as well, as he allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and a walk, with 1 of the hits being a home run. Those two outings mark the entirety of the 25 year old’s big league career, so today would mean his first Major League start if he indeed does get the nod.

The lefty Akin features a fastball and slider, with a changeup that he has thrown just twice in his 51 pitches so far. The fastball sits in the low 90s, while the slider is 10 mph below that. Fangraphs’ ratings of him to start the season had his changeup as currently his best pitch, so if he’s going to be facing a bunch of righties today, we may see a lot more than just a couple changeups.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Joe Panik has started all 3 games of this series at SS, with the reasoning being that Santiago Espinal is nursing a sore hamstring. Espinal pinch ran in the 9th inning yesterday, so there’s a chance that he’s able to get into the starting lineup today in time to face the lefty.

The Blue Jays currently don’t have a righty on the bench to give Rowdy Tellez and Travis Shaw time off against a lefty pitcher. Rowdy so far this year is slightly better against lefties, but Shaw, who has been struggling in general, is unsurprisingly worse against lefties this season. But both will likely be in the lineup today. Hopefully the roster construction shortcomings will be addressed by the time the trade deadline is finished today.

Orioles’ Lineup

Shortstop Jose Iglesias has been back off the injured list for 3 games now, starting at DH 3 times and SS once. He is 6-14 since coming back, hitting a bunch of singles but also picking up a double. I would imagine he is the most likely to be gone from the Orioles by the end of the day, and I wouldn’t be upset if the Jays got him as his right handed bat and excellent defense would be a nice addition to this team.

Chance Sisco has only started 1 game behind the plate for the Orioles in the first 3 games of the series, as Pedro Severino has caught the other two games. Severino also spends a lot of time at DH, and I would guess that is going to be the setup in this one. Sisco is hitting .245/.412/.509 (152 wRC+), while Severino is hitting .312/.385/.516 (144 wRC+), rare production for the catcher position.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Rafael Devers went 4-4 with a pair of home runs and a walk, driving in 3 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. Devers helped lead his Red Sox to the 9-5 win over the Nationals.

Teoscar Hernandez, with his 2-out, 2-run single in the bottom of the 9th yesterday, picks up the WPA King award. That hit alone was worth .718, and pulled him up to a .648 total on the day in the Jays’ 6-5 win over the Orioles.

Adam Wainwright, celebrating his 39th birthday yesterday, threw a complete game. He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 9 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He also took home the W in the Cardinals 7-2 win over Cleveland.

Find the Link

Find the link between Chance Sisco and the Major League leader (scratch that - National League leader) in plate appearances in 1944.