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Game #40 Preview: Rodriguez vs Ryu

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Red Sox (25-17) vs Blue Jays (22-17)

Philadelphia Phillies v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their homestand this evening, welcoming the first place Red Sox into TD Ballpark in Dunedin for a three game series. Tonight’s game is scheduled to get underway at 7:37 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Hyun Jin Ryu will head back to the mound for the Blue Jays, making his 8th start of the season and 20th as a Blue Jay since signing prior to last season. This year, Ryu is 3-2 with a 2.95 ERA, averaging 6 innings per start if you remove the game he came out due to injury. In his 39.2 innings, he has 38 strikeouts against just 5 walks and 5 home runs, and has just been a joy to watch. One stat that did surprise me a bit - he has allowed 37 hits this year, nearly one per inning, which is actually not too far off his career numbers. He just manages to work out of that trouble because he isn’t giving free base runners as well.

Red Sox’ Starter

Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will go to the mound for the Red Sox, and he’s having a solid season so far after missing all of last year with complications due to COVID. Rodriguez is 5-1 with a 4.15 ERA so far, with similar stats to Ryu in his 7 starts. He has thrown 39 innings, striking out 42 batters while allowing 7 walks and 6 home runs. Like Ryu, he has allowed about a hit per inning, sitting at 40 so far, but has been somehat able to limit the damage thanks to soft contact.

Rodriguez has a pretty solid 5-pitch mix. He’ll throw a 4-seamer and sinking fastball with velocities in the low 90s. He also has a cutter that profiles a bit closer to a slider than a fastball, while also throwing a slider and a changeup. Most of his strikeouts come with one of his three fastballs, which he will locate well, so he will be probably be a bit of a challenge for the Jays’ batters.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Rowdy Tellez, who injured his hamstring on an awkward swing on Sunday, still hasn’t had his fate decided. He’s likely headed to the Injured List, but until that is announced, he’s on the active roster. Either way, he wasn’t likely to start today anyway with the lefty on the mound. Instead, either Jonathan Davis or Santiago Espinal will be in the lineup, and one of the regular position players will be at DH today.

Twitter is telling me that it is #ILoveReese Day, but the Blue Jays likely don’t feel that way. Danny Jansen is undoubtedly making the start today catching Ryu.

Red Sox’ Lineup

The Red Sox are having a resurgence this year after struggling the last couple seasons with the bats. The team is hitting .264/.326/.446 (112 wRC+), and they lead the league in several offensive categories, including runs (217), hits (376) and doubles (94 - 15 up on second and nearly double the Jays’ 52).

The Red Sox are also doing a great job keeping players healthy, with only Chris Sale and Ryan Brasier, both of whom started the season on the IL, missing from the pitching staff, while catcher Christian Arroyo and utility infielder Enrique Hernández are the only guys on the IL from the position player side.

Their lineup is anchored by a three headed beast right now, in the form of Xander Bogaerts (177 wRC+), J.D. Martinez (179 wRC+) and Rafael Devers (152 wRC+). Alex Verdugo (115 wRC+) is the only other regular with an above average line, so it’s really a top heavy lineup.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Eric Haase, who entered yesterday with 1 home run in 29 games across 4 seasons, hit a pair of home runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. Haase’s outburst helped his Tigers to the 4-1 win over the Mariners.

Yu Darvish threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 10 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He also earned the win, as the Padres shut out the Rockies 7-0.

Also throwing 7 shutout innings for a NL West ballclub was Walker Buehler, who did so with just 1 hit allowed, but he did walk 4 batters. However, Buehler’s game was a bit closer, and he added .384 WPA to his team’s efforts and walks home with the WPA King trophy. He helped his Dodgers to the 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks.

Find the Link

Find the link between J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and Jose Abreu.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant