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Game #62 Preview: Matz vs Pivetta

Blue Jays (31-30) vs Red Sox (39-25)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays will look to bounce back from the bad loss last night and try to put together a win against the Red Sox. Today’s game is set to get underway at 4:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Steven Matz will make his 13th start of the season, bringing in a 6-3 record and a 4.50 ERA to the game. His FIP comes into the day sitting at a better looking 3.96, and he has an even better xERA of 3.76. These are based off good strikeout (9.42 per 9 innings), walk (2.67 per 9 innings) and home run (1.27 per 9 innings) rates, while xERA also looks at quality of contact allowed, of which Matz is doing a fantastic job. His ability to limit average exit velocity is in the top third of Major Leaguers, while his ability to avoid allowing players to barrel the ball up is in the top quarter.

Matz faced the Red Sox back on May 20, and while he got knocked around a bit, he did manage to escape the game with a no-decision. He threw 6 innings, but allowed 5 runs on 10 hits, walking 2 against just 4 strikeouts. A rough second inning, including a Bobby Dalbec home run, accounted for all of his runs allowed that game, but he toughed it out to get through 5 innings.

Red Sox’ Starter

Canadian Nick Pivetta will make the start for the Sox, his 13th of the season. Through his first 64.1 innings, Pivetta is 6-1 with a 3.78 ERA, with an even better 3.40 FIP. He’s getting there with a 10.35 K/9, 4.34 BB/9, and a very impressive 0.70 HR/9 rate. For a pitcher that allows as many fly balls as he does, and pitches in as many bandboxes that the AL East has to offer, allowing only 5 home runs so far is impressive, if also likely unsustainable.

Pivetta squared off against Matz and the Jays back on May 20, and Pivetta had a similar outing to Matz in that one. Over 5 innings, the Jays scored 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits with 2 walks, striking out 8. Even though the game was in the tiny confines of TD Ballpark in Dunedin, the Jays did not hit one out.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

They were hitting the ball hard off the Green Monster all night long yesterday, yet at least in part because of the Monster, they scored just 5 runs. This Tweet really captures how the Jays’ offense did last night:

So, the Jays will be back at it again today, and I honestly would be happy to see as many solidly hit balls. I just hope for better sequencing, and much less pepper with the Monster.

Expect to see the same lineup as last night against the right handed Pivetta. The only difference I wouldn’t be surprised to see is that Joe Panik gets in there, and someone in the outfield is taken out as Biggio moves to the outfield. And Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Rowdy Tellez will flip flop 1B/DH duties.

Red Sox’ Lineup

Xander Bogaerts was out of yesterday’s lineup with right knee soreness, and he isn’t expected to play today either.

Alex Verdugo was probably the biggest pain in the Jays’ beak yesterday, with 3 hits, including a double, and is quickly heating up and turning into another Red Sox player that I don’t want to see come to the plate.

I would imagine we will see Kevin Plawecki playing catcher today, with the lefty on the mound and Christian Vázquez having played 3 straight days.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Salvador Perez went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, taking home the Monster Bat award. However, he didn’t have much backup, as his Royals fell to the Athletics 4-3.

Anthony DeSclafani threw a complete game shutout, picking up the Pitcher of the Day award. He allowed just 2 hits and a walk while striking out 8 on his way to win in the Giants’ 1-0 win over the Nationals. And since it was so close, DeSclafani gets the WPA King trophy with an incredible .841 WPA from the mound.

Find the Link

Find the link between Nick Pivetta and Jason Bay.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant