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Game #44 Preview: deGrom vs Anderson

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Blue Jays (24-19) vs Mets (20-24)

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their 9 straight games of playing games against their in-State rivals, welcoming the Mets into Buffalo for a 3 game set. Tonight’s game gets underway at 6:37 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Jays will send Chase Anderson to the mound for his 7th start of the season. Through the first 6, he has done fairly well all things considered, and after slowly ramping up his workload, should be fully stretched out. In 23.2 innings, he has allowed 15 runs (just 13 earned) on 29 hits, but has walked just 5 and struck out 21. He has allowed 5 home runs on the season, now, but a lot of that damage happened his last time out against the Red Sox, where he allowed 3 home runs and 6 runs overall over 4 innings. Prior to that start, he was having a pretty great season.

Mets’ Starter

Facing off against Anderson will be arguably the best pitcher in baseball in Jacob deGrom. The reigning back-to-back NL Cy Young winner is having another fantastic campaign, currently sitting with a 3-1 record and 1.69 ERA over 48 innings. He has struck out a very impressive 70 batters, while walking just 11 and allowing just 4 home runs. He has also allowed just 31 hits, 20 of which have gone for singles.

There is a realistic expectation that deGrom will carve through the Jays’ batters, as he is pitching as well as he ever has this season. His fastball velocity is at an all time high, averaging 98.4 mph, which will no doubt give the Jays’ bats troubles. Coupled with his slider and changeup, pitches with a .252 and .224 expected wOBA, and it becomes pretty obvious how he has had his success this year.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

There has been chatter that Bo Bichette is coming back today, although nothing has been officially announced yet. If that is indeed the case, look for Jonathan Villar to slide over to 3B, likely somewhat splitting time with Joe Panik, while Travis Shaw slides over to 1B/DH with Rowdy Tellez out. If it was me, I would work with a platoon of Santiago Espinal and Panik, but I can’t imagine Villar spends much time on the bench.

If I had to guess as to who the odd man out is with Bichette coming back, I think it comes down to either Billy McKinney or Santiago Espinal. I’m going to guess McKinney, as the extra infielder would allow Montoyo more freedom to move Cavan Biggio around, but I have definitely been wrong before.

Mets’ Lineup

The Mets have quietly been one of the best hitting teams of 2020, leading the Majors in team batting average (.275), OBP (.351) and wRC+ (121). They’re also sitting 7th overall in home runs, which makes it really weird that they’re outside the top 10 and behind the Jays in runs per game. You don’t have to look much further than their 3rd to last .702 OPS with runners in scoring position to find the answer to that riddle, and that’s really what is holding them 2.5 games back of a playoff spot.

Top to bottom, the Mets have a pretty solid lineup. Robinson Cano is having a revitalized year, currently sitting at a 139 wRC+. Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso are enjoying having the DH position, as both can be in the lineup every day and not have to play out of position, and while Smith is having a breakout season with a 171 wRC+, Alonso is surprisingly struggling. He is pacing the team with 11 home runs, but has just a 116 wRC+ overall.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Freddie Freeman went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and 4 RBI, picking up the Monster Bat award. He helped lead his Braves to the 7-6 win over the Nationals, a lot calmer of a score than the 29 runs they put up the night before.

Starling Marte hit a huge 3 run double in the bottom of the 8th to tie things up, setting up the Marlins walk-off win in the 9th inning. For his efforts, Marte takes home the WPA title with a .597 mark, and the Marlins beat the Phillies 7-6.

Brady Singer threw 8 shutout innings, allowing just 1 hit and a pair of walks while striking out 8 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. His fantastic start was just a part of the Royals big day, as they trounced Cleveland 11-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Pete Alonso and Geovany Soto.