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Game #19 Preview: Matz vs Glasnow

Blue Jays (8-10) vs Rays (10-9)

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Blue Jays return to Florida, but before they make their way “home” to Dunedin, they have a three game series at the Little Trop of Horrors to take on the Rays. Tonight’s game is set to get underway at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Lefty Steven Matz will make his fourth start of the year, looking to improve on his 3-0 record and 1.47 ERA. Matz has been incredible for the Jays so far, averaging just over 6 innings per start, with an average of 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts per start. This type of dominance won’t last and Matz will come back down to Earth, but when he does, hopefully it’s still as a very good pitcher to have on the team.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays will open the series with their Ace Tyler Glasnow, and he is off to an even better start to the season than Matz. This will be Glasnow’s 5th game, and after his first four he is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA over 24.2 innings. He has completely dominated hitters, holding them to 2 runs on 9 hits and 7 walks. He has allowed just 2 extra base hits, a pair of doubles. Otherwise he has struck out 40% of the batters he has faced, with 36 over 24.2 innings.

Glasnow is going to blow Jays’ hitters away with his stuff, likely dominating mostly with his fastball that averages over 97, reaching into the 100s occasionally. He’s going to throw that fastball nearly 60% of the time, while the dropping in a curveball and slider occasionally to really keep the hitters off balance.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

If there ever was a pitcher that I’d keep Cavan Biggio away from, this is probably the guy. But Biggio will probably be right there, leading off the game in the top of the 1st inning.

George Springer isn’t expected to be activated for today’s game, and may not make it onto the field for this series at all. But he’s getting close!

Teoscar Hernández is eligible to be reinstated from the Covid IL today, but that doesn’t seem like a guarantee. He first needs to test negative (on a test he’s probably already taken), then he needs to pass the standard physical tests that a player would go through coming in for Spring Training. He hasn’t been allowed to be around the team for 2 weeks now, and considering he was sick with Covid and had symptoms, there’s a chance that he may need a few more days to get back and ready to play. We should know this answer this afternoon.

Rays’ Lineup

The Rays’ offense is off to a strong start to the season, sitting with a team wide 109 wRC+ and scoring an AL third best 4.95 runs per game. They’re getting solid production from top to bottom in their lineup, both starters and bench players, with 9 guys putting up league average or better offense.

With the Jays sending out a lefty starter in each game this series, that’ll likely keep Yoshi Tsutsugo on the bench, while also maybe proving effective against the lefties in the lineup, including Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe and Joey Wendle. However, this is an exceptionally balanced lineup with the Rays, and righties Randy Arozarena, Yandy Díaz, Manuel Margot and Mike Brosseau will all be there to feast on the lefties.

Yesterday’s Heroes

David Peralta went 5-6, hitting a home run and a triple while driving in 7 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His triple scored 3 runs in the top of the 10th to put the game out of reach, and coupled with his 4 other hits, Peralta gets the WPA King award as well with a .596 WPA for the game. His great night helped his Diamondbacks to the wild 14-11 win over the Reds.

Walker Buehler gets to take home the Pitcher of the Day award with his work last night. He threw 7 innings against the Padres, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out 9. The Padres got the last laugh though, taking the lead in the top of the 8th, holding on to it with an incredible double play to end the bottom of the 8th, and ultimately walking away with the 3-2 win over the Dodgers.

Find the Link

Find the link between Joey Wendle and Manny Ramirez.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant