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Game #126 Preview: Rodón vs Ryu

White Sox (73-55) vs Blue Jays (66-59)

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays wrap up their series against the White Sox this afternoon, looking to win 3 of 4 in their series against the AL Central leaders. Today’s game is a bit of an early one, set to get underway at 3:07 ET. Also note that all games across baseball are free games of the day, so if you’re not in one of the stupid blackout areas, you can watch this game or any other one through the route.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Hyun Jin Ryu will go for the Jays, looking to become the first American League pitcher to make it to 13 wins. Ryu brings his 12-6 record and 3.54 ERA into play, and he’s looking to build off a really good start his last time out. Against Detroit last weekend, Ryu went 7 shutout innings, allowing just 5 hits and a walk while striking out 5. It was a far cry from his previous two outings, where he allowed 11 runs over 10 innings. Getting Ryu going like he was his last time out will be necessary if the Jays want to make a bit of a run for the second Wild Card spot.

Ryu faced off against the White Sox when the two teams met in early June, and Ryu came out of it with a quality start. Over 6 innings, he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 3. Yasmani Grandal touched him up for a home run, and the Jays lost 5-2.

White Sox’ Starter

Carlos Rodón will be making his 20th start of the season, and if he had been healthy all year and able to make a full gamut of starts, he’d be in the conversation of Cy Young award. However, he has dealt with shoulder fatigue problems, and has been on the IL for the last 3 or so weeks. But he’ll be activated for today’s game. Because of that, I would imagine he’ll be facing a bit of an pitch limit today.

Through 109.2 innings this year, Rodón is 9-5 with a 2.38 ERA. His FIP is pretty much right there as well at 2.57, thanks to strong numbers in the BB/9 and HR/9 categories, coupled with outstanding strikeout totals. Among the 94 players in all of baseball with at least 100 innings, Rodón’s 13.13 K/9 rate is the best, nearly a full strikeout per 9 innings higher than second place (for comparison, Robbie Ray is 9th at 11.34).

Rodón faced the Jays in that early June season, and had a fairly standard Rodón outing for 2021. He made it through 5 innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, and he struck out 8.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

This will be the first time since last Friday that the Jays are facing a lefty, so the string of 5 straight starts for Corey Dickerson will come to an end. Dickerson, who had a big RBI triple yesterday, didn’t hit much over the last week, but the hits he did have were pretty big. It’ll be nice having his lefty bat on the bench for late game pinch hitting opportunities.

A lefty on the mound likely means that we’ll see Kevin Smith get back into the lineup, and I would imagine that it’ll be at second base as Marcus Semien slides over to SS and Bo Bichette gets a DH day. Bo’s last day at DH came in the finale in Seattle, so it’s probably his turn again.

Reese McGuire will be back behind the plate in this one, catching Ryu. It’s a very bad matchup for McGuire at the plate though, so don’t expect much offense for him out of this one. He’s in there to catch Ryu (unless Danny Jansen is mysteriously activated today).

White Sox’ Lineup

Tim Anderson made his return to the lineup yesterday after missing four games due to leg soreness. He went hitless against Robbie Ray though, so he’ll need a hit today if he wants to keep his average above .300.

Leury García has gotten both starts since coming off the IL prior to Tuesday’s game, and could very well be back out there again today as Brian Goodwin will be on the bench against another lefty. Danny Mendick got the day of yesterday, but is listed as the right handed part of Goodwin’s platoon, so he’s probably going to be in the lineup today too.

Seby Zavala and Zack Collins seem to be sharing time behind the plate, but with the Jays running the lefty today and then the Cubs going with a righty tomorrow against them, I would expect that Zavala gets the start behind the plate again today. But with Tony La Russa at the helm, who knows.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Paul Goldschmidt went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and a walk, driving in 2 to pick up the Monster Bat award. He also stole a base and scored the run in the 10th inning, and was pretty much the key ingredient in the Cardinals’ 3-2 10 inning win over the Tigers.

Six different games went into extra innings yesterday, including a new record in the Manfred Man era of 16 innings between the Padres and Dodgers. But the WPA King is a pitcher out of the Cubs-Rockies extra inning affair in game 2 of their double header. Ben Bowden came in in the bottom of the 8th inning (that’s extras in a double header game) with 2-out and the bases loaded. He struck out the first batter he faced to get out of the jam. He then came back out in the 9th inning with the score still tied and the Manfred Man on second, and managed to work out of that inning as well. In total, Bowden gets the WPA King trophy with a .616 mark, and he also got the win as the Rockies scored 4 in the top of the 10th to win 13-10.

I don’t care that Blake Snell got 2 more outs, he allowed a home run, so I’m giving the Pitcher of the Day award to Robbie Ray! Ray worked 7 fantastic innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and a walk (and a bean ball) while striking out 14 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He once again walked away with a no-decision, but the Jays did manage to win 3-1 over the White Sox.

Find the Link

Find the link between Carlos Rodón and Brandon Finnegan.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant