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Game #17 Preview: Eovaldi vs Berríos

Red Sox (7-9) vs Blue Jays (10-6)

MLB: APR 24 Blue Jays at Astros Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a very successful road trip, the Blue Jays return home to face the same teams they did on the road trip, starting off with the Red Sox for a four game series. The first game of that series gets underway tonight at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

José Berríos will make his fourth start of the season for the Jays, looking better each time out. But he’s still a few good outings away from getting his numbers down to a respectable level after the opening day disaster. On the season, he is now 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA and 6.70 FIP over 11.1 innings.

But his last start was great, which just so happened to come against these same Red Sox. He went 6 innings, allowed a bunch of hits, but was able to work around the trouble and ultimately allowed just 1 run. The 8 hits over 6 innings isn’t great, but he walked just 1 while keeping the ball in the ballpark while striking out 6 to help limit the damage.

Red Sox’ Starter

Nathan Eovaldi gets the start for the Red Sox, also his fourth of the season. He is currently 1-0 with 3.68 ERA, although unlike last year when his upper-3.00s ERA came with an AL best FIP of 2.79, this year Eovaldi has swung the other way. Through 14.2 innings, Eovaldi’s FIP is up to 5.74 despite pushing up the high water mark of his strikeout rate and keeping his walks down. His culprit so far this year has been the long ball, of which he has allowed 5 in his short work. Luckily for him though, all but one has been a solo shot, and that’s the only way anyone has scored off him this year, an unsustainable way to go about things.

This will be Eovaldi’s second consecutive outing against the Jays, and he did quite well last week. He was limited to just 4.2 innings due to a high pitch count, throwing his 95th pitch before being lifted so a lefty could face Zack Collins. But his results were good, allowing just a Collins home run in the second inning while scattering 6 other hits and a walk. He struck out 6 batters.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Don’t expect to see a lineup any different than the one that faced Eovaldi last Tuesday, or that we’ve been seeing lately from the Blue Jays. Alejandro Kirk is likely to be behind the plate again. Raimel Tapia seems to continue getting the starts in RF with Teoscar Hernández on the mend. Zack Collins has gotten himself pretty comfortable at that DH spot.

Red Sox’ Lineup

There’s still a bit of a mystery about which Red Sox players were not allowed in to Canada thanks to the vaccination requirements. Starting pitcher Tanner Houck, who has shunted his team and will not make his start on Thursday, is the only one that has been confirmed thus far. But it seems likely that there are others.

Kevin Plawecki and Jonathan Araúz have been on the COVID-IL since before the series against the Jays last week. I’m not sure if they’re healthy or able to come into Canada, but the fact that they’re still out a week later doesn’t bode well for their chances.

Christian Vázquez missed a couple games on the COVID-IL at the same time, but he promptly came back a couple days later. He also has played every game from Thursday through Sunday, so he’s probably due for a rest day today. That would likely mean Connor Wong is behind the plate again.

J.D. Martinez, who left the game last Wednesday due to a groin injury, hasn’t made it back into the lineup since then. He’s still listed as day-to-day though.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Joc Pederson went 3-3 with a pair of home runs and a double, knocking in 3 runs to earn himself the Monster Bat award. It was a big day for many of his Giant’s teammates, as they beat the Nationals 12-3.

Stupid Jeremy Peña and his stupid 10th inning home run gets him the WPA King trophy with a .781 WPA in the Astros 8-7 win over the Jays.

Aaron Nola threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walks while striking out 9 and picking up the Pitcher of the Day award. He did not walk away with the win though, as his Phillies lost to the Brewers 1-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Jackie Bradley Jr. and Cody Bellinger.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant