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Game #54 Preview: López vs Manoah

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Marlins (24-29) vs Blue Jays (28-25)

MLB: Miami Marlins at Toronto Blue Jays Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the first inaugural Lou Gehrig Day, honoring the legendary player who 80 years ago today passed away from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease which also bear his name. Major League Baseball has a special focus on ALS, and it will be at the forefront across the league today.

For the Blue Jays, they will look to sweep the mini series against the Marlins this evening. Gametime is set for 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The mountainous Alek Manoah will be making his second big league start this afternoon, no doubt eager to get back out on a Major League mound after dominating the Yankees his first time out. In that start, he went 6 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. His fastball was electric, and his slider was devastating, two keys for him to continue to find success.

Marlins’ Starter

The Marlins will send out a big young righty of their own in Pablo López. López, much like Alcantara yesterday, is off to a strong start this year. Through 11 starts and 63 innings, López is 1-3 with a 2.71 ERA. He has 59 strikeouts against just 18 walks, and has done a great job keeping the ball in the ballpark, allowing just 5 so far. Among the 64 qualified pitchers in baseball this season, López ranks 10th in home run rate at 0.71 per 9 innings.

López is predominantly a fastball-changeup pitcher, with a fastball that sits in the low-mid 90s, and a changeup that comes in in the upper 80s. Together, he throws them about two thirds of the time, and both pitches generate a good number of whiffs, which he has used for 54 of his 59 strikeouts. The other third of the time, batters can expect a sinker, cutter or curveball, none of which are anywhere near the quality of the fastball and changeup.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Cavan Biggio wasn’t activated yesterday, and I can’t imagine he will be today either. Look for Joe Panik to make another start at 3B again today, although hopefully he won’t be batting so high up in the order.

Reese McGuire got the start yesterday, so it would make sense to see Danny Jansen behind the plate today. Unless the Jays wanted to give Jansen a nice little break this week, as the life of a catcher is very hard, and with 2 off days over the span of 4 days, getting him 4 days off would be very doable.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., with his 3 hits last night, has propelled himself out of the negative WAR range for the first time this year, and is up to 0.2. That was his 9th multi hit game since May 14, and over his last 60 PA he has a 190 wRC+. I think it’s safe to say that he is warming up with the weather.

Marlins’ Lineup

Corey Dickerson was on the bench yesterday against Robbie Ray, but expect to see him back in the lineup and somewhere in the heart of the batting order against Manoah today.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Marlins will also trot out both José Devers and Magneuris Sierra, a couple lefties, to try and maybe minimize the effectiveness of Manoah’s slider. If Sandy León is the catcher instead of Jose Alfaro, the Marlins could have 6 lefty bats in there against Manoah.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Andrew McCutchen went 2-3 with a pair of home runs and a pair of walks, driving in 4 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. He was one of many in a Phillies’ lineup that took down the Reds 17-3.

Josh Reddick had a 2-run walk-off double in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving his Diamondbacks the 6-5 win over the Mets. The walk-off gave Reddick .602 WPA on the day, earning him the WPA King trophy.

Germán Márquez went 7 solid innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He did not earn the win though, as it took his Rockies 11 innings to beat the visiting Rangers 3-2.

Find the Link

Find the link between Sandy León and Trevor Bauer.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant