The Blue Jays continue their homestand this weekend, welcoming the Oakland Athletics into town for a very important three game series. The first game gets underway tonight at 7:07 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Alek Manoah will go for the Jays, as the rookie will be making his 15th start of the year. Through 74.1 innings thus far, Manoah has been impressive, coming into play with a 5-2 record 3.15 ERA. The strikeouts have come as advertised, as he currently sits with 84. But the ability to limit walks and home runs is what’s most impressive about his rookie campaign. He’s not doing it at exceptional rates, but he’s better than average, and that’s all it takes with a great strikeout rate.
Going for the A’s will be veteran left hander Sean Manaea. Manaea has been one of four starters for the A’s this year that has been strong and steady all season, making his 27th start today. He enters play with an 8-9 record and a 3.97 ERA, coupled with a slightly better 3.86 FIP. He’s currently sitting with a career high strikeout rate of 9.84 per 9 innings, about 2 strikeouts per 9 than his career average. His walk rate is right at his career average, coming into play with a very strong 2.27 per 9 innings. But perhaps most concerning for him is that he is at a new career high in home run rate, allowing a higher-than-league-average 1.39 per 9 innings.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
With the lefty on the mound, the Jays seem to have less of balancing act for how the lineup will shake up. Expect to see an outfield of Gurriel, Grichuk and Hernández. George Springer is likely sticking at DH the entirety of this series.
Against the lefty today, it’s probably going to be Danny Jansen behind the plate, a move I’d be fine with, but I’d rather see Alejandro Kirk get as many reps down the stretch as possible.
The A’s come into action with a fairly healthy group of position players. They’re currently down three players. Seth Brown went on the COVID IL a week ago after testing positive, and I’m not sure that even if he’s ready to go that it has been long enough for him to get into Canada, which I guess could end up saying something about the exemption if he does show up. Mitch Moreland went on the IL this past Tuesday with wrist tendinitis, so he’ll for sure miss this series. And Stephen Piscotty went for wrist surgery a week ago and will be gone for the remainder of the season.
About a month ago, Ramón Laureano was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for Nandrolone, which is a huge blow on both the offensive and defensive fronts for the A’s.
Newcomers to the roster thanks to the recent injuries and roster expansion, all of whom didn’t start in Detroit, are outfielder Skye Bolt, DH Kris Davis and catcher Austin Allen.
The top of the lineup is brand new compared to when the Jays and A’s faced off back in May. At the trade deadline this year, the A’s added Josh Harrison from Washington and Starling Marte from Pittsburgh. They’ve taken to their new team quite well, and have fit right in with the rest of the very strong position player group the A’s have.
Juan Soto went 3-4 with a home run, driving in 4 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His output just wasn’t enough though, as his Nationals fell to the Phillies 7-6.
Logan Webb threw 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 10, taking home the Pitcher of the Day award. He took a no decision in that one, but the Giants did prevail, beating the Brewers 5-1, as the Giants climbed back into a tie for first place with the Dodgers.
David Bednar threw up scoreless 9th and 10th innings yesterday, preserving the tie in both instances. And thanks to the high stakes of the Manfred Man, he gets the WPA King trophy with a .446 mark in the game. Unfortunately for him, the next man up couldn’t do the same, and the Pirates lost to the Cubs 6-5 in 11 innings.
Find the Link
Find the link between Skye Bolt and the last starting pitcher who started against the Jays.