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Game #73 Preview: Seabold vs Gausman

Red Sox (42-31) vs Blue Jays (40-32)

Toronto Blue Jays v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

After a bad road trip, the Blue Jays return home to open up a three game series against the Red Sox. Tonight’s game is set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jays will turn to Kevin Gausman to provide a good start, something the Jays haven’t seen much of lately. Gausman’s start in Chicago last week was one of just five quality starts from the Jays’ rotation over the last two weeks. It’s unsurprising that they’re 5-8 in that stretch too.

Gausman’s numbers on the season have now fallen to 5-6 with a 3.19 ERA. But the FIP is still great at a Major League best 1.75, and as such he still leads the Majors in fWAR at 3.3. His lead in fWAR and FIP has slowly been dwindling since his amazing start where he didn’t allow a walk or a home run in his first five starts. The home runs have remained rare for him, but the walks have become a bit more common. Since the end of that streak, he has had a walk in every game, and has had multiple walks in three games, including two of the last three. But compared to most other pitchers, he’s still doing quite well on the walk front.

Gausman faced the Red Sox back on April 21, back when he was still at his peak dominance and the Red Sox were slogging their way along. He went 8 innings, allowing just 1 run on 7 hits, with no walks or home runs allowed. He struck out 8 in that one and earned the win.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Red Sox rotation took a hit a couple weeks ago when Nathan Eovaldi went down with lower back inflammation. Kutter Crawford made a couple starts for them, and then they just went with a four man rotation the last couple times through. But they need a fifth starter again this week, and they plan on calling up right hander Connor Seabold to make the start for them.

This will be Seabold’s first start in the Majors in 2022, but not his Major League debut. He made one start last year against the White Sox, and pitched a solid enough game for them in their September run.

Seabold was having a really good season for AAA Pawtucket, pitching to a 5-1 record with a 2.09 ERA. Over 51.2 innings, he allowed 13 runs on 37 hits, walking 14 and striking out 51. Throughout his entire Minor League career, he hovered around that strikeout per inning rate while being close to a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Strong numbers, and reason enough for Fangraphs to rate him as their 8th best prospect.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

George Springer returned to the lineup yesterday, and from what I can tell, didn’t have any issues with his elbow. Hopefully it’s still feeling good today, and he’s good to go for the whole series.

Alejandro Kirk continued his phenomenal hot streak yesterday, going 2-4 with another home run. He has now homered in 4 of his last 5 games, and is now hitting .322/.409/.523 (164 wRC+). That batting average is 8th in the Majors, and the OBP is 3rd, while the slugging percentage is 16th.

Santiago Espinal picked up a pair of hits yesterday, his first multi-hit game since June 15, and just the second game in general that he had a hit in. Prior to yesterday, he had just 1 hit in his last 35 at bats. Hopefully he can build off that multi-hit effort and his bat can heat back up.

Red Sox’ Lineup

The Red Sox currently possess the best three headed monster in baseball on offence. Rafael Devers (178 wRC+), JD Martinez (160 wRC+) and Xander Bogaerts (146 wRC+) have catapulted the Red Sox’ recent run, and have combined to make them the fifth best scoring offence with a 4.81 runs per game pace. That trio is also sitting 2, 3, 4 in the AL batting title race as well, sandwiching themselves between Luis Arraez’ .349 and Kirk’s .322.

Things get shaky pretty quick after those big three though. Christian Vázquez is the only other regular above 100 wRC+, coming in at 110, while Trevor Story is just below that mark at 98 wRC+.

Typical CF Jarren Duran (as well as closer Tanner Houck) will not be playing in this series, and have been placed on the restricted list.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Rowdy Tellez, with his 2 homers and 4 RBI against the Jays yesterday, is the Monster Bat award winner. It was good to see him hit so well, just unfortunate it came against the Jays.

David Robertson came on with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th and the winning run on first, but managed to work his way out of that. Then he pitched the bottom of the 10th with the tying run at second base, and managed to pitch out of that as well. Robertson got the win, and he also gets the WPA King trophy as well with a .491 mark as the Cubs beat the hometown Cardinals 6-5.

After the Astros no-hit the Yankees on Saturday, José Urquidy wanted to do it again yesterday. He made it through 6 innings without surrendering a hit before Giancarlo Stanton ran into a 92 mph fastball right down the middle, ending the no-hitter and getting the Yankees on the board. Urquidy would finish the inning with that being his only hit and run, and he gets the Pitcher of the Day award for his efforts. Unfortunately the Yankees found a way to win anyway, taking the game 6-3 in 10 innings.

Find the Link

Find the link between Christian Vázquez and each of Josh Phegley, Roberto Pérez and Martín Maldonado (similar link to each one).

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant