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Game #37 Preview: Gilbert vs Berríos

Mariners (16-20) vs Blue Jays (19-17)

Toronto Blue Jays play the Seattle Mariners Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

After the win last night, the Blue Jays will look to make it two in a row against the Mariners, and put an end to their long series win-less drought. Game two of this three game set goes tonight at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

José Berríos gets the ball for the Jays, making his 8th start of the year. After the stinker on Opening Day, Berríos seemed to get better and better with each start, but the last couple starts have started a disturbing trend. Against the Guardians and Yankees, he pitched a combined 10 innings where he allowed 11 earned runs on 13 hits and a pair of walks, with just 4 strikeouts, including 0 in the Guardians game. Of course, four of those runs were baserunners he bequeathed upon the bullpen, but still not good regardless.

Those bad couple starts ran his season numbers to a 2-2 record with a 5.82 ERA. His 1.59 home runs per 9 inning rate is the 12th highest among the 101 pitchers with at least 30 innings. He’s not looking good, and there is definite concern that there may be something wrong with him.

Mariners’ Starter

The Mariners will go with their young flamethrower Logan Gilbert, who is off to a great start to his season. He took home the AL Pitcher of the Month for April, going 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA over 22.1 innings. It hasn’t been as nice for him since the calendar turned though, as over his last 3 starts he is 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA over 15.2 innings. But that still all comes out to great overall numbers, sitting at 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA over 38 innings.

While Logan’s 2.13 ERA is the head turner, he is still doing quite will with a 3.10 FIP, which ties him with Alek Manoah and Justin Verlander just inside the top 20 in baseball. He is doing well getting strikeouts, with 42 over his 38 innings. He has walked a few, giving up 14 free passes, but he has been able to limit the damage with 3 home runs allowed.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Last night was a very encouraging night from the bats. After jumping out to the lead, they added tack on runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings. And even more encouraging was the fact that they collected 3! hits with runners in scoring position. That may sound unimpressive, and normally it is, but it was just the sixth time this year in 36 games that they had that many hits with runners in scoring position, and just the second time this month in 14 games.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. found himself on the bench last night, likely in an attempt to just let himself reset. Expect to see him back in LF today.

George Springer played CF and looked fine, so it would seem that the ankle is doing well enough. They might give him a DH day again just to allow him some recovery time. Don’t be shocked if they do, because it could very well just be part of their plan with him, and not indicative of a setback.

If Springer is in CF, we could get to see the current A lineup. Danny Jansen is probably catching Berríos tonight, so that likely mean Alejandro Kirk is back in the lineup as the DH. Gilbert for his career has been noticeably worse against right handed batters, so a lineup loaded with righties isn’t a bad idea.

Mariners’ Lineup

Against the lefty last night, the Mariners sat a few of their regular left handed bats. But with the righty back on the mound, expect to see Adam Frazier back at 2B, Cal Raleigh back behind the plate, Mike Ford to serve as the DH.

Abraham Toro, who started at second base last night, opened the season as a regular with a rotating role, similar to DJ LeMahieu with the Yankees. But unlike LeMahieu, Toro’s bat has struggled, and he has lost a lot of the playing time he had a month ago. The Longueuil, Québec native is hitting just .156/.217/.312 through 120 PA on the season.

I don’t expect to actually see him in this series, but Kyle Lewis has to be near ready to return. After a torn meniscus ended his season last June, his recovery is nearly complete as he has played a half dozen games in AAA. The Mariners become a stronger and deeper team once Lewis is in there taking at bats away from guys like Steven Souza Jr. and Mike Ford. Lewis will probably be back with the Mariners within the week, but not likely in Toronto.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Curt Casali went 3-4 with a pair of home runs and 4 RBI, taking home the Monster Bat award. His Giants rode his bat to the 7-6 win over the Rockies at Coors.

Luis Robert hit a 2-out 2-run home run in the top of the 10th inning, giving his White Sox the 5-3 lead which they held on to, beating the home town Royals. For Roberts’ part, he gets the WPA King trophy with a .499 WPA on the day.

Wade Miley threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just a single and nothing else. He struck out 6 and got the win as his Cubs went up big early and shut out the Pirates 9-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Abraham Toro and Otto López.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant