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Game #33 Preview: Pearson vs Greinke

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Blue Jays (17-15) vs Astros (17-16)

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Blue Jays will go for a series win this afternoon, playing the rubber match against the home town Astros. Gametime is set for 2:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Top prospect Nate Pearson is expected to be activated to make this start, his first in the Majors in 2021. Pearson entered the season as MLB.com’s 10th best prospect in all of baseball, and he was 9th on Fangraphs list. Expectations were high after a good start to Spring Training, and they remain high after missing a little over a month with a re-aggravated groin injury.

Pearson brings an upper-90s fastball with a fair bit of life to it, which he pairs well with his mid-80s slider. Fangraphs gives both of those pitches a 70 scouting grade (out of 80, with 50 being average), while MLB.com gives an 80 on the fastball and 60 on the slider. Beyond those two weapons, Pearson will throw an upper-80s changeup (which is a changeup from a 98 mph fastball), and an upper-70s curveball with a lot of loop to it.

This is a guy to be excited about.

Astros’ Starter

The Astros’ will counter with an exciting pitcher of their own, veteran right hander Zack Greinke. Greinke obviously is at the other end of his career, as the 37 year old finishes up his massive 6 year deal. He is having another good season as well, off to a 2-1 record and a 3.76 ERA. Through 7 starts and 40.2 innings, Greinke has 31 strikeouts against 10 walks and 6 home runs. His average exit velocity and hard hits allowed have him in the 90th percentile as well, doing an excellent job managing the balls in play against him.

The future Hall of Famer is very much a crafty pitcher now. His fastball, which sat in the mid-90s a decade ago, is now averaging 89.5 mph, and he’ll mix that with a “changeup” that isn’t really any slower, but moves differently. His other main pitch is a curveball, and he will throw that for strikes or make you chase it out of the zone, and it will come in with a velocity ranging anywhere from 51 mph to the upper 70s. There’s a real chance that today’s game features a pitch from one starter that is half the velocity of a pitch from the other.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

These are probably still coming and maybe will be updated once the lineups are announced his morning. Look for Reese McGuire behind the plate, and not a whole lot else different.

Astros’ Lineup

These are probably still coming and maybe will be updated once the lineups are announced his morning. Look for Jason Castro behind the plate, and not a whole lot else different.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Joey Gallo went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and 3 RBI, picking up the Monster Bat award. The Rangers needed every ounce of output they could get, as they squeaked by the Mariners 9-8.

The Braves and Phillies played a wild one last night. With the score 3-1 in the 9th, Pablo Sandoval, our WPA King, hit a pinch hit, game tying 2-run home run. The teams went scoreless in the 10th with the fake runner stranded, then the fake runner scored for both teams in the 11th. In the top of the 12th, the Phillies managed to score 3, but the Braves turned around and put up a 4-spot to win the game. Ehire Adrianza was the extra innings hero with an RBI in the 11th and the walkoff in the 12th, but Sandoval’s pinch hit home run gave him .490 WPA for the win. The final score in that one was 7-6 for the Braves over the Phillies.

Future Blue Jay Max Scherzer went 7.1 great innings against the Yankees (a very good audition), striking out 14 against a walk and a solo home run. He allowed just 1 other hit in taking home the Pitcher of the Day award, but unfortunately for him, his bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, and the Yankees won 4-3 in 11 innings.

Find the Link

Find the link between Zack Greinke, Frank Tanana and one of the best catchers ever.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant