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Game #19 Preview: Wacha vs Stripling

Red Sox (7-11) vs Blue Jays (12-6)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

After another exciting win last night, the Blue Jays continue their four game set against the Red Sox this evening, looking to take their third in a row. Gametime is once again set for 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Ross Stripling will make his third start of season after stepping into that role after a pair of relief outings to start the year. Through his first 10 innings this season, he has allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5 and doing a good job keeping the ball in the yard. He’s still slowly ramping up his workload, going 4 innings in his two starts with pitch counts in the low 60s. If he’s doing well today, look for the team to push him into the 70s as they try to get him deeper into the game.

Red Sox’ Starter

Veteran right hander Michael Wacha gets the start for the Red Sox, his fourth since coming over on a one year deal this past winter. The results have been good so far for him too, as he’s 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA over 14.1 innings, and is doing a good job limiting hard contact. However, when you look at his FIP of 4.68, his season hasn’t been quite as smooth. He has already issued 7 walks, an abnormal amount for him, and the same total he had in 34 innings in 2020. He has also given up 2 home runs, so when you combine his 13 baserunners and 2 home runs, only allowing 3 runs total probably isn’t a sustainable way to pitch. He’ll likely regress, and hopefully the team that scored 7 runs in 11 innings off him last year is the one to do it.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. didn’t start yesterday as he nurses a sore hamstring. It wasn’t bad enough to keep him from pinch hitting later in the game, so I like his chances of getting into tonight’s game, at least as the DH.

Bo Bichette continues to struggle with the bat, but he’s also starting to show some signs of getting out of it. He has 3 walks in his last 5 games (his only 3 walks this season), while also collecting a few hits and most notably hitting the ball harder. But he’s also striking out a lot more recently, so there are some red flags in there. But the harder contact and a realistic walk rate starting to show up are great signs. He’s unlikely to be moved out of the number 2 spot any time soon, so the Jays are going to need his bat to get going instead.

Bradley Zimmer continues to find some starting time, and probably will again today if Gurriel is at DH. His defense is great, but his bat has yet to contribute in any meaningful way. He’s probably not at risk of losing a roster spot on Monday when roster sizes shrink, although once everyone is back and healthy, that’s a different situation.

Red Sox’ Lineup

The Red Sox have been cycling their infielders so far this series, with Trevor Story getting a day off on Monday and Rafael Devers getting the game off last night. If they want to give Xander Bogaerts the game off today, that’s quite alright by me.

JD Martinez has been back an healthy for the first two games of this series, continuing his regular double hitting ways. He has now hit a double in 3 of the 4 games he has played against the Jays this year. None of them resulted in him scoring though.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Anthony Rizzo went 3-4 with 3 home runs and 6 RBI on his way to picking up the Monster Bat award. His home runs went a combined 1051 feet, a quite low number for 3 home runs, and a feat only really doable in a joke of a ballpark like Yankee Stadium. But they count nonetheless, and the Yankees used his offensive output to beat the lowly Orioles 12-8.

Miguel Sanó gets the WPA King trophy with a .621 mark, an award aided by one of the worst defensive plays in baseball history. A single and at least two errors gave Sanó the 2-run walkoff hit in the Twins’ 5-4 win over the Tigers. Just complete chaos.

Patrick Sandoval turned in one of the best starts of his young career last night, throwing 7 shutout innings with just 2 hits and a walk while striking out 9 to take home the Pitcher of the Day award. He also got the win, as his Angels beat the Guardians 4-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Alex Verdugo, Alfredo Aceves and Dalier Hinojosa.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant