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Game #43 Preview: Glasnow vs Kay

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Rays (26-19) vs Blue Jays (23-19)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Blue Jays kick off a 4 game home series against the red hot Rays, winners of their last 7 games. The game and the series gets underway this evening at 7:37 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Anthony Kay is expected to get the start in this one, making his 4th start and 5th appearance overall on the season. Through 13.2 innings, Kay has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) on 15 hits and 6 walks (plus 3 bean balls) while striking out 16. When he’s on and his cutter is working is when you’ll see those strikeouts and good innings. When he’s struggling, the fastball flattens out and he gets hit super hard.

Thankfully for him, things were working well his last time out, as he threw 4 shutout innings, with 6 strikeouts against 2 walks and just 1 hit. However, he was inefficient as well, with a lot of deep counts, and ended up being pulled after 79 pitches over his 4 innings. I thought he could have gone another inning, but he probably was a bit gassed. If the Jays can get anything similar to that today, I’m sure they’ll be thrilled.

Rays’ Starter

Unfortunately this series starts with a Tyler Glasnow game. Glasnow is making his 10th start of the season, and will look to improve on his 4-2 record and 2.35 ERA over 57.1 innings. Glasnow has been excellent in those innings, striking out an unfathomable 85 batters, essentially 3 every 2 innings.

However, it hasn’t been all great for Glasnow this year. One of his two losses came at the hands of the Blue Jays back on April 23. In that start, the Jays touched him up for 5 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. The Jays still struck out 10 times in 6 innings, but Glasnow also allowed home runs to Marcus Semien and Randal Grichuk. That was Grichuk’s 3rd home run off Glasnow in 15 PA.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Rowdy Tellez came in last night for a pinch hitting opportunity and drew a walk. While the walk in a 1-run game was great, it was also good to see him back on the field. His leg is probably is still hurting a bit, but I would think there’s a chance he’ll be in DH spot tonight.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. moved to the top of the Fangraphs’ WAR leaderboard at 2.6, in a tie with Byron Buxton, Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom, as Mike Trout has been on the Injured List for a few days now. I don’t remember the last time a Blue Jay was leading in WAR even this late into the season, but it just really helps drive home how enjoyable it is to watch Guerrero play right now.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was scratched from yesterday’s game with a bruised knee. He is currently “day to day”, but if the Jays have taught us anything, that could mean anywhere from a game to a month.

Rays’ Lineup

The Rays enter the series with a fully healthy contingent of position players. Kevin Kiermaier, who sprained his wrist a couple weeks ago, was reactivated on Wednesday. Catcher Francisco Mejía was on the IL with a rib strain, but missed the minimum before being activated on Sunday. And Ji-Man Choi, who missed most of Spring Training and the start of the season with a knee injury, is back to full strength and was activated and made his first start of the season on Sunday as well.

Choi is likely to see a lot of bench time this series though, as the Jays will roll out a trio of lefties for the first three games in Kay, Ray and Ryu. Choi is the long side of a platoon, as are fellow infielders Brandon Lowe and Joey Wendle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one of those three get a start tonight though, as Yandy Díaz and Mike Brosseau are the only righty bats on the bench.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Joey Wendle went 4-6 yesterday, hitting a pair of home runs and a double to pick up the Monster Bat award. He helped the Rays sweep the Orioles quite easily, with a score of 10-1, and an overall score of 32-14 over the 3 game series.

Stupid J.D. Martinez with his stupid 9th inning home run is the WPA King winner with a .695 WPA on the day.

Pitcher of the Day goes to Yankees’ POS Domingo Germán. The domestic abuser threw 7 shutout innings, allowing 6 hits and no walks while striking out 5. The Yankees beat the Rangers 2-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Shin-Soo Choo and Ji-Man Choi.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant