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Game #65 Preview: Montgomery vs Ryu

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Yankees (33-32) vs Blue Jays (33-31)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing series split in Boston, the Blue Jays return home to Buffalo to open a 3 game set against the Yankees. The first game of the series gets underway at 7:07 ET this evening.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Hyun Jin Ryu will make his 13th start of the year, entering play with a 5-4 record and a 3.34 ERA. Ryu had his worst start of the year 2 outings ago, his only start at Sahlen Field, where he allowed 7 runs against the Astros, walking a season high 3 batters. He corrected things his last time out against the White Sox, getting a quality start with 3 runs over 6 innings, getting back down to a normal 1 walk in the game. His season total of walks now stands at 12 over 70 innings, to go against 62 strikeouts and 9 home runs allowed.

Ryu has faced the Yankees twice this year, his first and third starts of the year, and has done well. Over 12 innings combined, he has allowed just 3 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks, striking out 12, with both earned runs coming on a Gary Sánchez home run.

Yankees’ Starter

Left hander Jordan Montgomery will go for the Yankees, making his 13th start of the year as well. He brings a 3-1 record with a 3.99 ERA with him to Buffalo. He has 65 strikeouts over his 65.1 innings, walking just 15 and allowing 7 home runs. None of those numbers are too out of line with what he has done in his career, and they all come out to a pretty impressive 3.34 FIP.

Montgomery has faced the Jays just once so far this year, back on May 27 when the Jays were in Yankee Stadium. He lasted just 4.2 innings, surrendering 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out just 1 batter. Bo Bichette accounted for the damage against him, lacing a 3-run home run. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was the only one to strike out.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

They were stifled by a very good Nathan Eovaldi yesterday, but still enter play as a top 5 offense in all of baseball. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a hell of a series in Boston, going 9-15 with 3 walks, a double and a home run in each game. Now he is heading to one of the home ballparks, where he has been a much better hitter this season.

The lefty on the mound means that Rowdy Tellez won’t be in the lineup. With George Springer expected to be starting a rehab assignment tonight, with an activation within the next week or two, Tellez is seeming more and more likely to be the odd man out. Barring an injury, the decision seems to be between Tellez and Jonathan Davis.

Speaking of Davis, he might be the one who gets into the lineup as Tellez moves to the bench today. I would moreso suspect that it’ll be Joe Panik taking third base while Biggio either moves to DH, or goes to the outfield to give a DH opportunity to one of the outfielders.

Yankees’ Lineup

It has been very rough sailing for the Yankees’ offense so far in 2021, despite some of the best health they have seen from their core in a season that has seen a lot of injuries across the league. Currently, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks and Ryan LaMarre (?) are the only position players on the injured list.

The Yankees enter play with the 5th worst offense in baseball, scoring just 3.88 runs per game, hitting a combined .234/.317/.386. That’s quite surprising considering the cast of hard hitting all stars they have, but they just haven’t been able to string together the necessary hits to score runs. Their 10.3 BB% is one of the best in the league, they’re not striking out much more than average, their batting average is just below average, and their 80 home runs puts them just outside of the top 10. So they’ve done most things that should put them at least average at scoring runs, but they’re still sitting near the bottom.

Pretty much the only player in baseball right now with a Statcast profile that rivals Vladdy’s is Aaron Judge, and he is continually one of the ones to watch out for in this lineup. Vladdy leads the Majors with an xwOBA of .448, but Judge is right on his heels at .447.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Joey Votto went 2-4 with a home run, a walk and 3 RBI to pick up the Monster Bat award. He helped his Reds beat the Brewers 10-2.

Austin Gomber threw 8 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and nothing else while striking out 4. He picks up the Pitcher of the Day award thanks to his efforts, and also takes home the WPA King trophy with a .596 mark. He also got the win, as the Rockies’ bullpen held on for the 3-2 win over the Padres.

Find the Link

Find the link between Aaron Judge and Jack Flaherty.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant