After one of the most exciting Opening Days we’ve ever had, the Blue Jays and Rangers will get right back at it this afternoon for game 2 of their 3 game season opening series. The game is set to get underway at 3:07 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Free agent signing Kevin Gausman will make his Blue Jays’ debut, coming in on a 5 year, $110m deal after a great season in San Francisco. The veteran righty had a career year in 2021, sporting a 2.81 ERA with a 3.00 FIP to support it over his 192 innings. He struck out 227 batters while limiting walks (2.34 per 9 innings) and home runs (0.94 per 9 innings).
Gausman is predominantly a fastball splitter pitcher, with his fastball thrown over half the time and the splitter thrown over a third of the time. Between the two, they account for nearly 90% of the pitches he throws, with a slider and changeup accounting for the rest. But it’s truly the splitter that makes him successful, and it’s a great pitch.
Gausman’s splitter is literally one of the best pitches in baseball pic.twitter.com/uEfjJP0kxy— Lewis (@JaysKid_RHP) November 23, 2021
Dane Dunning will get the ball for the Rangers, the 27 year old in now his second year with the Rangers. Dunning put up a solid season for the Rangers last year, pitching to a 4.51 ERA and a very good 3.94 FIP over 117.2 innings and 27 appearances (25 starts). If you do the quick math, you’ll notice that is an average of under 5 innings per start. He finished the season with a reduced workload, but even through his 6 inning appearance on August 2, he was averaging under 5 innings per start still. Thanks to short Spring Training this year, don’t expect to see him get more than 3 or 4 innings today, even if things are going well for him.
Dunning isn’t a hard thrower, averaging 90.4 mph on his fastball last year. But he’s a control artist with a half dozen or so pitches he can turn to, which is the type of profile that sometimes the Jays will struggle with. When he faced the Jays last year, he put together one of his best outings, throwing 5 innings while allowing 1 run on 3 hits and striking out 6.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Kyle Tucker went 2-5 with a pair of home runs and 4 RBI, picking up the Monster Bat award. The home runs may have come in garbage time (making it 12-2 and 13-5), but he gets the award nonetheless, as the Astros erupted late against the Angels winning 13-6.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a massive 2-run home run in the top of the 9th, giving his team a temporary 5-4 lead. Unfortunately for him, his team’s bullpen couldn’t hold that lead, and the Marlins lost 6-5 to the Giants in extra innings. But Chisholm did his part, walking away with the WPA King trophy thanks to an outstanding .784 mark.
Sean Manaea was phenomenal in his Padres debut, throwing 7 hitless innings while walking 1 and striking out 7. He loses a few points because it was against the Diamondbacks, but still an incredible outing regardless, and good enough to capture the Pitcher of the Day award anyway. And his bullpen held the win for him, as his Padres won 3-0.
Find the Link
Find the link between Corey Seager and Orel Hershiser, but not Madison Bumgarner (just to make this one a little harder).