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Game #70 Preview: Manoah vs Houser

Blue Jays (39-30) vs Brewers (40-32)

Toronto Blue Jays v Chicago White Sox Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their road trip, heading up to Milwaukee to kick off a three game series against the first place Brewers. The Jays are still hanging out in the central time zone, so today’s start time is set for 8:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Alek Manoah will get the start for the Jays, coming off his worst start of 2022. He made it through just 5.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 5. It’s a testament to how great he has been this season that that was his worst start, and it pretty much all came from a 2-out 3-run double just over Biggio’s glove. Otherwise he looked decent in that start, and there aren’t any real reasons to worry about him going forward.

Manoah’s ERA has climbed to an even 2.00, and he enters today with an 8-2 record. That ERA is now third best in the AL, and his 8 wins still top the league. Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers holds the Major League lead in both of those categories with a 9-0 record and 1.58 ERA.

Brewers’ Starter

Veteran righty Adrian Houser gets the ball for the Brewers, making his 14th start of the season. Through 68 innings, Houser is 4-7 with a 4.24 ERA, and a bit better FIP of 3.97. He doesn’t get many strikeouts, coming into play with a 7.15 per 9 inning rate, even below his career rate of 7.51 (league average this year is 8.46 K/9). Houser’s walk rate also comes in noticeably worse than league average as well, walking 3.84 per 9 innings against a league rate of 3.18 BB/9. So he has been getting himself in trouble with the walks while not having the great strikeout ability to get out of it, but he has at least been quieter on the home run front, helping to limit the damage.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

The Blue Jays head over to an NL park, but thankfully they’ve finally gotten rid of pitchers hitting, and we get to retain the DH.

George Springer, who was taken out of the game on Tuesday and didn’t play Wednesday, is likely to be questionable again today. He is dealing with an elbow issue, and seemingly has for a little while. He is hitting just .217/.286/.420 (96 wRC+) for the month of June, so you really have to wonder how much he’s being hampered.

The results of his MRI are supposed to be released today.

Taking a quick look at June stats across the league, the Jays have three players in the top 15 for the month in wRC+. Alejandro Kirk leads the Jays to no one’s surprise, tied for 10th with Aaron Judge at a 187 wRC+ for the month. Right behind him is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with a 183 wRC+ for the month. The third Blue Jay in the top 15 is Teoscar Hernández with a 180 wRC+. He’s having a much better June than I had thought, and to see the middle of the order all doing so well makes the 11-10 record for the month a fair bit more disappointing.

Brewers’ Lineup

The Brewers enter play near the middle of the pack, with a slash line of .232/.310/.401 (98 wRC+). They have the fourth most home runs in all of baseball with 94, four more than the Blue Jays. Their 40 stolen bases put them just outside the top 10. On a run scoring basis, they come in 17th at 4.35 runs per game, tied with the Astros.

The Brewers currently have three players on the Injured List. Infielder Mike Brosseau has been out since June 2, but started a rehab assignment earlier this week and could be back this weekend. Catcher Alex Jackson has been out since June 7 with a sprained finger and is likely out for a bit longer. Second baseman Kolton Wong has been out since June 8 with a strained calf, and is just now starting some light activity, so he won’t be around for this series either.

The Brewers employ a couple former Blue Jays in Rowdy Tellez and Jonathan Davis. Tellez is having a good year so far, hitting .232/.310/.401 (115 wRC+) with 11 home runs, hitting in the middle of the lineup against righties. Davis was called up last Saturday for the first time this year after having a pretty solid run in the Brewers’ AAA team. Davis is 3-8 with a walk in his short time with the team.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Dansby Swanson went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, driving in 3 to take home the Monster Bat award. His big day helped his Braves beat the Giants 7-6.

Frankie Montas pitched a gem yesterday, throwing 8 shutout innings while allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8. His bullpen blew it for him though, as the Mariners beat the Athletics 2-1. Montas for his part gets the Pitcher of the Day award, and because he spent most of the game pitching with a 1-0 lead, he gets the WPA King award too. His .553 mark for the day narrowly beat Michael Chavis’ .552 WPA.

Find the Link

Find the link between Rowdy Tellez and several Brewers, including Willy Adames, Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant