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Game #41 Preview: Ashcraft vs Kikuchi

Reds (11-28) vs Blue Jays (22-18)

Toronto Blue Jays Vs Cincinnati Reds Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Blue Jays wrap up their three game series with the Reds, looking to get their first sweep of the year. Gametime is set for 1:37 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Yusei Kikuchi gets the ball for the Jays, making his eighth start of the season. He’ll be looking to continue the success he has found recently, as he lowered his ERA to 3.38 on the season high 5.52 after his fourth start. His latest start was probably his strongest of the bunch, as facing his former team he went 6 shutout innings, allowing just a single hit and 3 walks.

The walks are still a problem for Kikuchi, if we’re looking for things to pick apart. He has walked 3 in back to back starts now, and has walked 20 in 32 innings thus far. But unlike through his first four starts when he had 13 walks to 13 strikeouts, the strikeouts have started to pick up, with 20 in his last three starts against 7 walks. His career rate is just below 2.5:1 strikeouts to walks, so him approaching 3:1 is a great run.

Reds’ Starter

Former Blue Jays Connor Overton was supposed to make the start today, but was scratched due to persistent back troubles. That opens the door for Graham Ashcraft to make his Major League debut. By MLB Pipeline, Ashcraft is the Reds’ #8 prospect, coming in with a big fastball and a good slider. He’ll throw those two pitches almost exclusively, but they both should have good movement to them. The fastball will average near 96, and he has been known to touch 100 with it.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Reds’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Brian Serven went 2-4 with a pair of home runs, driving in 4 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. For Serven, this was just the second game of his career, and the two home runs were the first two hits of his career. His efforts helped his Rockies take the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Mets 11-3, after falling 5-1 earlier in the day.

Daulton Varsho had a couple big hits for the Diamondbacks last night, hitting a game tying single in the top of the 8th before following that up with a 3-run Little League Home Run in the top of the 10th. For Varsho’s part, he gets the WPA King trophy with a .521 mark, and the D-backs beat the Cubs 7-4.

Despite not getting to pitch the 9th inning, Alek Manoah is still our Pitcher of the Day from yesterday. He threw 8 dominant innings, allowing just a run on 7 hits while walking none. He struck out just 4, but also induced a lot of weak contact. He took home his 5th win of the season in the Jays’ 3-1 victory.

Find the Link

Find the link between Aristides Aquino and Trevor Story.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant