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Games #14 and 15 Preview: Matz/Milone vs Minor/Santana

Blue Jays (6-7) vs Royals (7-4)

Toronto Blue Jays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Blue Jays and Royals sat around watching the rain fall last night, so instead they get to go for a double header today. And since we’re in 2021, double headers are just a pair of 7-inning games, since that’s apparently accepted. The first game is is set for 2:10 ET, while the second is set for 6:10, and given the rule changes (7 innings, runner on second after that), 4 hours SHOULD be enough time in between that the 6:10 start time wouldn’t need to get bumped.

Blue Jays’ Starters

Steven Matz is set to go for game 1, after getting rained out of his start yesterday. Today he will make his third start of the season, and will try to continue the early season magic that he has going on. Through 12.1 innings, Matz has allowed just 2 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks, striking out 13. He has done well with strikeouts, walks, and inducing weak contact.

Game 2 will actually be Tommy Milone, despite today initially being set up for Robbie Ray’s normal start. Ray will go tomorrow, and then everyone else will get a bunch of extra rest with Monday and Thursday’s off days.

The veteran lefty Milone, despite making his first two appearances as a Blue Jay out of the bullpen, is a very experienced starter. He has started in 145 of his 185 Major League appearances, making stops at 8 different franchises along the way.

Royals’ Starters

Mike Minor will make the start opposite Matz, just as he was prepared to do yesterday. Through 10 innings on the season, Minor is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA. He has allowed 5 runs on 8 hits, but he has walked 5 against 9 strikeouts. The walks are concerning, and not a typical part of his game, so don’t expect him to walk many Jays’ batters.

The Royals will go with an even more veteransy type guy in game 2, opting to add 38 year old Ervin Santana to make the start. Santana hasn’t pitched yet this year, and didn’t play in the Majors last year either, with his last official game pitched being April 24, 2019 in the Majors, and September 23, 2019 in the Minors. The last official time he had a good start in the Majors was in 2017, the same year he made it to the All-Star Game as a member of the Twins. So he probably has a short leash tonight.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Santiago Espinal has been added as the 27th man for today’s double header.

Royals’ Lineup

I’m interested to see if they’ll start Sal Perez behind the plate in both games. Considering they’re both 7-inning games, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Justin Upton went 2-4 with a home run and a double, driving in 4 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His output was part of a solid team effort as the Angels took a beating to the Twins in their 10-3 win.

Max Scherzer threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just a pair of hits and walks, striking out 10 en route to winning the Pitcher of the Day award. He left the game in a 0-0 tie, which means he accumulated a lot of WPA, winning the WPA King award with a .445 total. The Nationals did eventually come out victorious, as Kyle Schwarber hit a walk off home run to beat the Diamondbacks 1-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Ervin Santana and Yankee Manager Aaron Boone.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant