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Game #157 Preview: Taillon vs Ryu

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Yankees (89-67) vs Blue Jays (87-69)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays return home to open a season ending six game homestand, starting with their biggest series of the year, a three game set against the Yankees. The excitement gets underway tonight at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Hyun Jin Ryu is expected to be activated and make the start for the Jays. The Jays will need Ryu, who has been terrible his last couple times out, to be the ace they signed him to be. The ineffectiveness over the last two starts could be tied to the neck injury he went on the IL with, but he allowed 12 runs over just 4.1 innings in those two outings, which simply will not do. It would be great if he can get back to what he was the previous outing, when he held these very same Yankees to just 3 singles and nothing more over 6 fantastic innings.

Ryu’s great start against the Yankees on September 6 was just a part of the great season he has had against them this year. Through 4 starts, Ryu has thrown 24 innings, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 16 hits and 6 walks. He has surrendered three home runs to them this year, 2 to Gary Sánchez and one to a guy named Chris Gittens.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees will also be activating a starting pitcher to make the start today, as Jameson Taillon will be making his first start since that September 6 matchup with Ryu. Taillon landed on the IL with a partially torn tendon in his ankle, not something that I would think has repaired itself in 3 weeks. As a result, the Yankees might be heading to the bullpen early, which means we would either see Andrew Heaney or human garbage Domingo Germán. But the Yankees are expecting Taillon to be healthy, so 5 or 6 innings from him seem possible.

Taillon will be making his 3rd start of the season, and has had his struggles, taking the loss going head to head against Ryu both times. Through 10.2 innings, he has allowed 8 runs on 12 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8. He has surrendered 3 home runs in that span as well, 2 to Semien and 1 to Vladdy.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The big decision on availability for this series will be Lourdes Gurriel Jr. After getting his hand stepped on by Randal Grichuk and needing stitches, he has been on the bench with a few bandages all over his hand. After the injury happened, they said that he’d be limited to just DH duties, as throwing would be the hardest. So they’ll likely not make any decisions on his availability to DH until after batting practice close to gametime.

If he isn’t good to go for DH duties, I would expect to see Alejandro Kirk get the start there. George Springer played in the outfield Friday and Saturday, and looked great. They gave him a day of rest on Sunday as he was the DH, but after the off day yesterday, he should be good to go for CF again.

Danny Jansen will catch Ryu in this one.

This will be a big week to watch for some milestone home runs.

  • As a team, they’re on pace for tying their record of 257 set back in 2010, currently 9 short.
  • Semien is at 43, currently tied for the Major League record of home runs by a second baseman.
  • Vladdy is at 46, 1 short of the second most ever for a Blue Jay, while also closing in on 50.
  • Springer has 19, looking to become the 7th Blue Jay with 20 home runs. The 2019 Twins had 8 different hitters reach that mark to set the Major League record, but the 2019 team home run records are rather tainted.

Yankees’ Lineup

The Yankees come into Toronto having won 6 straight, partly on the backs of strong pitching that never allowed more than 3 runs per game, but also on the backs of their hitters who have averaged 6.2 runs per game in that stretch. They’ve got a relatively healthy contingent of players, with guys they’re probably happy starting in each spot.

Giancarlo Stanton spent the entire weekend in Boston as the DH, limiting the amount of time that Luke Voit could play. Stanton ended up hitting 3 home runs and driving in 10 in that series, so the Yankees got by without Voit in the lineup. But no Voit means more Brett Gardner, a tradeoff the Yankees probably won’t be making against the lefty Ryu today. So expect to see Stanton in the outfield on the turf.

Gleyber Torres has recently moved off SS to 2B due to defensive inadequacies, and thanks to typical Yankee BS, that has kick started his bat. After playing to an 89 wRC+ as a second baseman, he has a 120 wRC+ in the 13 games since the switch, hitting .298/.389/.404. His defense isn’t really much better, as he has -2 DRS (defensive runs saved) as a second baseman compared to -11 at SS in about 1/9 of the innings. He also has -1 OAA (outs above average) as second baseman compared to -9 as a SS. So on a rate basis, he’s about the same.

Yesterday’s Heroes

There were only 5 games on yesterday’s docket, but we still got some strong contenders for the awards today.

Mitch Haniger went 2-5, launching a pair of home runs and driving in 6 to take home the Monster Bat and help keep his Mariners in the Wild Card hunt, beating the Athletics 13-4. The loss virtually ends the A’s season, moving them 3.5 back of the Red Sox for the second wild card spot with just 5 games left for them to play. The Mariners are now 1.5 back, with the Jays right in front of them.

Amed Rosario had a go-ahead home run, helping him get the WPA King trophy with a .324 mark. The lead only grew from there, as the Future Guardians beat the Royals 8-3.

Reiver Sanmartin gets the Pitcher of the Day award after 5.2 strong innings. He allowed 1 run on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 5 along the way. He earned the win in his Major League debut, helping his Reds beat the Pirates 13-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Giancarlo Stanton and Marty Marion.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant