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Game #92 Preview: Richards vs Ray

Red Sox (57-38) vs Blue Jays (48-43)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

The Blue Jays wrap up their time in Buffalo, playing what is hopefully their final home game on foreign soil, in what is now just a 2 game series against the Red Sox. Gametime is once again set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

With the rain out yesterday and the off day tomorrow, the Jays will just skip the scheduled spot start from Thomas Hatch and move forward in the rotation to Robbie Ray. This will be Ray’s third start in the team’s last 6 games, as he started both games that bookended the All Star Break as well. Those starts were also the best he has looked all season, as he completely dominated the Rays and Rangers. He threw a combine 13.2 shutout innings, allowing just 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 19.

On the season, Ray is now 8-4 with a 2.93 ERA. Through a team best 107.1 innings, Ray has struck out 138 batters against just 27 walks. That K%-BB% is 7th best in baseball among the 152 pitchers with at least 50 innings, sitting right between Tyler Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw.

Ray has made just 1 start against the Red Sox so far this year, a start at Fenway Park on June 13. In that one, he earned the win while giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks over 6 innings. He struck out 10 in that one, and surrendered a home run to Xander Bogaerts. But that was the game that the Jays hit 8 home runs, so it was a pretty easy day for Ray.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Red Sox don’t have the benefit of an off day tomorrow, and actually don’t have a scheduled off day until Monday August 2. So they probably appreciated the rainout yesterday, and just kept everything in line as they advance a day on the calendar. As such, Garrett Richards, who was scheduled to go yesterday, will still make the start today.

This will be Richards’ 19th start of the season, and the 33 year old righty is 5-5 on the season with a 4.91 ERA, and a very similar 4.71 FIP. Through 91.2 innings this year, Richards has just 73 strikeouts against 43 walks. His one saving grace this season is that he has allowed just 11 home runs.

Richards has made 3 starts against the Jays already this year. In total, he has made it through 16.2 innings, going 4.2 innings, 6.2 innings and 5.1 innings. Through those 16.2 innings, he has allowed 10 runs on 22 hits and 12 walks, striking out just 10. He managed to escape a lot of the damage that 35 baserunners (a bean ball is also mixed in) in 16.2 innings causes by not allowing a home run. Interestingly, 4 of his 5 wild pitches thrown this year have occurred against the Jays.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

I think with the Jays set to face the same starting pitcher, it’s safe to assume the same lineup that was posted yesterday:

Marcus Semien - 2B
Bo Bichette - SS
Vladimir Guerrero - DH
George Springer - CF
Teoscar Hernandez - LF
Randal Grichuk - RF
Lourdes Gurriel - 1B
Cavan Biggio - 3B
Danny Jansen - C

Although looking at the positions, I’m not sure they’ll bother with Gurriel at 1B and Guerrero at DH with the day off yesterday and tomorrow, I doubt they try to get anyone off their feet here. So one of the outfielders will probably just be the DH today.

Red Sox’ Lineup

With the lefty on the mound for the Jays, the Red Sox will have a bit of a different look today. Bobby Dalbec is listed as being in a platoon at 1B, with rookie Jarren Duran the lefty bat the would presumably by on the bench. I’d be a little bit surprised if the rookie is being platooned at this point though, so I don’t actually think he’ll be out of the lineup.

Alex Verdugo has spent the whole year starting in the 2 hole, but on Monday he made his first start of the season batting 6th. Durran was bumped up, and that might be the plan moving forward. If I was a Red Sox’ fan, I’d much rather that spot be occupied by either Bogaerts or Devers.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Chris Taylor went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, scoring 4 time and driving in 3 to pick up the Monster Bat award. He helped carry his Dodgers to the big win over the Giants, 8-6.

The Cardinals’ bullpen had a nightmare 9th inning last night. After walking in a pair of runs to drop the lead to 6-3, Javier Báez hit a 2-run single and Ian Happ followed that with a 2-run double of his own, turning a 9th inning deficit into a 7-6 lead. Happ, for his big hit that flipped the score, gets the WPA King trophy with .634 mark. And unlike the Cardinals’ bullpen, the Cubs’ held on and the final score was 7-6.

Luis Garcia threw 6 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and no walks while striking out 8 batters to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He also got the win, as his Astros took down the Clevelands by a score of 9-3.

Find the Link

Find the link between Xander Bogaerts, Edgar Rentería and Alan Trammell, but not Ian Desmond.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant