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Game #38 Preview: Gonzales vs Gausman

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

Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Blue Jays go for the sweep this evening, looking to win the third and final game of this three game set against the visiting Mariners. Gametime is once again set for 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jays are set up well to get their first sweep of 2022, sending the AL’s best pitcher in Kevin Gausman to the mound. Gausman enters play with a 3-2 record and a 2.40 ERA, but also a microscopic FIP of just 0.82. Over his 45 innings this year, he has 52 strikeouts against just 2 walks, while still not allowing a home run.

By fWAR, Gausman leads the Majors by a significant margin. He is at 2.5 while Carlos Rodón, the man who replaced Gausman in San Francisco, sits in second place at 1.6. Among the 153 pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings, Gausman is 20th in strikeout rate, first in walk rate and first in home run rate. He has simply just dominated this year.

Mariners’ Starter

Crafty lefty Marco Gonzales gets the ball for the Mariners, also making his eighth start of the season. Through his first 32 innings, Gonzales is 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA. However, by FIP, Gonzales has had a horrible year, as it comes in at 6.27. He’s not one to typically get strikeouts, and once again this year he is not either, with just 22 in his 32 innings. But he’s also walking more than normal, with a 3.66 BB/9 rate, his worst since his rookie audition in 2014. But it’s probably the home runs that are the biggest culprit for him so far, as the 8 he has allowed are the second most in the AL, behind the 14 by Nathan Eovaldi over 41.2 innings (including 5 last night). As a result, his 2.25 HR/9 rate is the 5th most in all of baseball among the 153 pitchers with at least 20 innings.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With the lefty on the mound, the Jays are likely to stack their lineup with righties. Since Alejandro Kirk caught last night, I would expect to see Danny Jansen back behind the plate while Kirk slides to DH. The other seven regulars are all right handed as well, so it should be easy to get a fully right handed lineup today.

Vinny Capra is the only other righty on the roster, so there’s a chance that he gets into the game tonight if the Jays want to give someone an extra rest, especially with tomorrow’s off day baked in there as well.

Mariners’ Lineup

With the righty going again for the Jays, don’t be surprised to see a very similar lineup to the one the Mariners trotted out there last night. Berríos did a great job holding them down, but they’ve still got their upside and could have a solid night against Gausman.

Abraham Toro was on the bench last night, and it’s a bit surprising to see him get as few starts as he’s getting. But the infield is pretty set and strong for the Mariners right now, so if Toro was going to find more playing time, it would need to be in the outfield. Maybe then they could get away from Steven Souza Jr.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Kyle Tucker went 2-5 with a pair of home runs and 6 RBI, earning himself the Monster Bat award. Tucker was a part of a 6 homer barrage against the Red Sox, including 5 in one inning off Nathan Eovaldi, as the Astros won 13-4.

In the Battle of Ohio (the only Battle of [insert state/province] that matters right now), the Reds took down the visiting Guardians 5-4 in 10 innings, on the back of reliever Alexis Díaz. With the Manfred Man on and clinging to a 1 run lead, Díaz got a trio of strikeouts to seal the win and get himself the WPA King title. He had a WPA on the day of .427, narrowly edging out the .422 by Kole Calhoun and the .426 by Brady Singer

Brady Singer does get an award of his own though, taking home the Pitcher of the Day honours. He threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and nothing else while striking out 9. His Royals split the double header with the White Sox, winning the game he pitched 2-1, but losing the other 3-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Steven Souza Jr. and Billy McKinney.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant