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Game #82 Preview: Yarbrough vs Ray

Rays (47-36) vs Blue Jays (43-38)

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Happy Independence Day to all of the American people reading this!

The Blue Jays go for the three game sweep of the Rays this afternoon, looking to wrap up their homestand on a high note. Today’s game is set to get underway at 1:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Robbie Ray will make his 16th start of the year, catching him back up to Hyun Jin Ryu for the team lead. He enters play with a 6-3 record and a 3.43 ERA. His 113 strikeouts far outpace everyone on the team, and places him in the top 20 in the Majors as well. His walk rate of 2.28 per 9 innings is much better than the league average rate of 3.42.

The home runs have plagued Ray all season long, but they thankfully haven’t been crippling for him. He has now allowed 19 home runs on the season, with 14 of them being solo shots, four 2-runs, and now one 3-run. But while the home runs have been bad, he has also improved on that stat as the season has progressed. Over his 6 starts in June, Ray allowed just 5 home runs, a rate of 1.30 per 9 innings. The Major League average rate in the Majors for June was 1.32, so at least for the month of June, he corrected his only real problem in 2021. As a result, his ERA for the month was 2.86, and his FIP was right there at 2.75.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays are going with Blue Jay killer Ryan Yarbrough. Yarbrough has inexplicable had a much better career so far against the Jays than he has against the rest of the teams he has faced:

Yarbrough on the season is 4-3 with a 4.48 ERA. Through 86.1 innings, he has allowed 88 hits, but just 15 walks, striking out 70 batters.

He has faced the Jays twice this year, and while the first start went about as you’d expect (5.2 shutout innings), the Jays were able to get to him a bit in his second start. In 6.0 innings, he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, all solo home runs, while striking out 4 times. Gurriel, Guerrero and Teo were the ones to get home runs against him.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Rays’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Eric Haase went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, driving in 6 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His output was the difference in the Tigers’ 11-5 win over the White Sox.

Alex Cobb threw 7.2 excellent innings for the Angels last night, picking up the Pitcher of the Day award. He allowed 1 run on 4 hits and a walk, while he struck out 6 batters. He earned the win as the Angels beat the Orioles 4-1.

Brandon Workman pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th and 11th innings, as high leverage as a pair of innings can be for a pitcher who starts both innings. He kept the Athletics off the board in both, forcing the game into the 12th, where the Red Sox scored 2, but the A’s walked it off with 3 in the bottom half to win 7-6. For Workman’s efforts, he gets the WPA King trophy with a .614 mark. And the Red Sox still lost, so everything was good.

Find the Link

Find the link between Francisco Mejía and former Jays’ farmhand Jairo Labourt.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant