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Wildcard Game #2 Preview: Ryu vs Glasnow

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Rays lead best of 3 series 1-0

MLB: Wild Card-Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays will fight for their playoff lives today against the Rays, facing elimination after last night’s 3-1 loss. They’ll try to earn the right to do it all again tomorrow with a win this afternoon, with gametime set for 4:07 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Staff Ace Hyun-Jin Ryu will take the ball for Toronto, looking to inject some confidence back into the team. Ryu had an excellent first season with Toronto, posting the 5th best starter ERA in team history at 2.69 (albeit in significantly fewer innings, but qualified is qualified). He finished the season with a 5-2 record over 12 starts and 67 innings, striking out 72 against just 17 walks. He also only allowed 6 home runs in this crazy home run year, thanks to a career high groundball rate of 51.1% and a general ability to limit hard contact.

Ryu faced the Rays twice this season, and they were able to knock him around a little bit. Over 9.2 innings, he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 10 batters. The 3 walks were all in one start, his first of the season, when he clearly wasn’t in mid-season form thanks to the quick ramp up. He also allowed a home run in that game, a 2-run shot by Yoshi Tsutsugo.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays will send 27 year old fireballer Tyler Glasnow to the mound to try and secure the sweep. Glasnow had a bit of an up and down season, ultimately finishing with a 5-1 record and a 4,08 ERA over 57.1 innings. He struck out an incredible 91 batters, while walking 22 and allowing 11 home runs.

Glasnow is primarily a two pitch right hander, who dominates with his two pitches. He throws his fastball at least 60% of the time, although against the Jays that will likely be higher, and manages to average 97, typically touching 99 and can run it up to 100 every now and then. His other pitch is a devastating curveball, one he threw 335 times this year and managed to get 58 of his strikeouts on. It has elite drop rate, and quite often makes hitters look foolish.

Glasnow did not manage to face the Jays this season, but did make a pair of appearances against them last year. In those games, the Jays managed all of 1 hit over 6.1 innings. The hit was at least a home run, a two run shot by Randal Grichuk, but otherwise the Jays managed 4 walks against 9 strikeouts, and definitely had their struggles.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With the righty on the mound instead of the lefty yesterday, there will likely be a little bit of a shakeup in the lineup. I would expect Cavan Biggio to move back to second base, while either Travis Shaw or Joe Panik get the start at third base.

Behind the plate, it is expected that Danny Jansen will catch for Ryu. Once Ryu is out of the game, expect Alejandro Kirk to pinch hit in Jansen’s next at bat.

Rowdy Tellez is expected to be back in the starting lineup today, provided he isn’t feeling any ill-effects from running the bases yesterday. I would imagine he will be the DH.

Rays’ Lineup

The Rays will also have a bit of a different lineup out there today, with a lefty in Ryu on the mound. Expect to see Yandy Diaz at first base, Mike Brosseau at third base, and Hunter Renfroe in the outfield, which would push Manuel Margot to CF. That means Nate Lowe, Joey Wendle and Kevin Kiermaier will be on the bench.

That would leave just two left handed bats in the lineup in Yoshi Tstusugo and Brandon Lowe.

Yesterday’s Results

The visiting team won 3 of the 4 games yesterday, with the Jays as the only visiting not to pull off an upset.

Rays beat Blue Jays 3-1 (Rays lead 1-0)
Yankees beat Cleveland 12-3 (Yankees lead 1-0)
Astros beat Twins 4-1 (Astros lead 1-0)
White Sox beat Athletics 4-1 (White Sox lead 1-0

Find the Link

Find the link between Willy Adames and Yoshi Tsutsugo (specific achievement).