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Game #60 Preview: Akin vs Roark

Orioles (24-35) vs Blue Jays (32-27)

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the final game of this unprecedented 2020 season, where the Blue Jays are playing to find out if they jump up to the 5th seed, and the Orioles are looking to see if they fall down as far as the 3rd overall pick next June. Both teams have an interest in seeing the Jays win this one, so tune in to see if it’ll happen. The game is set to get underway at 3:07 EDT, pretty much the exact same start time as every other game in baseball today (one of the few new changes from the last several years that I am very much in favour of).

Blue Jays’ Starter

Blue Jays’ starters have gone 4 straight starts without allowing a run, which means that it’s Tanner Roark’s turn to take the ball again. Roark was the last starter to allow a run, as he allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and no walks over 4.1 innings, striking out 4. He also didn’t allow a home run in that game, just the 3rd time this season he didn’t in 10 starts. But that start was still bad, and pushed his season numbers to 2-3 with a 7.01 ERA and a 7.15 FIP. And he’s signed for next season for another $12m.

Roark has started twice against the Orioles so far this year, and has gotten hit around fairly consistently, but did at least manage to not be too terrible. Over 10 combined innings, he allowed 6 runs (5 earned) on 17 hits and 3 walks, striking out 10 and allowing 2 home runs.

Orioles’ Starter

Rookie left hander Keegan Akin will make his 6th start and 8th appearance of the season, and he’s had a pretty good campaign for the Orioles. Through 22.2 innings, he is 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA, and a very impressive 2.35 FIP. He has 31 strikeouts against 9 walks, while allowing just a single home run.

Akin faced the Jays just once this season, his first official start in the Majors. In that one, he went 4.1 innings, allowing 2 unearned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. He was limited to just 81 pitches in that one, but since then has pushed his pitch count into the mid-90s, so if he’s as effective as he was that day, there’s a legitimate chance that he can get through 6 strong innings today.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Orioles’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes went 5-5, knocking 3 doubles to pick up the Monster Bat award. His bat helped the Pirates take down Cleveland 8-0.

J.P. Crawford had a big day in the double header, knocking in some big early runs in the Mariners’ 12-3 win, then knocking in the tying run in the 5th and go ahead run in the 8th in the second game, giving the Mariners the double header sweep with a 5-1 over the Athletics in game 2. Crawford’s combined WPA was .547 as he takes home the WPA King award.

Brandon Woodruff threw 8 shutout innings yesterday, allowing just a pair of hits and a walk while striking out 10 to bring home the Pitcher of the Day award. He also picked up the win in the Brewers’ 3-0 win over the Cardinals.

Standings Watch

The Jays can overtake the Yankees for the 5th spot with a win and a Yankees’ loss. That would mean they play any one of 3 AL Central teams, and that’s a convoluted mess, as can be seen by this tweet (he has a diagram for each AL Central team if you view that thread):

If the Jays lose, they just head to Tampa to take on the Rays starting on Tuesday in the Little Trop of Horrors.

Find the Link

Find the link between Rio Ruiz and Jose Bautista.