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Game #75 Preview: Pivetta vs Manoah

Red Sox (42-33) vs Blue Jays (42-32)

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Blue Jays wrap up their series against the Red Sox this evening, looking to take the three game sweep against their division rivals. The game tonight is scheduled to get underway at the normal 7:07 ET start time.

Blue Jays’ Starter

In order to get the sweep, there’s nobody better to turn to than Alek Manoah. Manoah enters play with a 9-2 record, looking to be the first pitcher in the Majors to get to 10 wins. Manoah’s 2.05 ERA is currently 4th in the Majors, and he sits behind only Shane McClanahan for the AL title (which the Jays’ bats will have an opportunity to help tighten that race on Friday).

Manoah has faced the Red Sox just once this year, and by game score, it was his best start of the year. Facing off against the Red Sox back on April 28, Manoah went 7 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and a walk, striking out 7.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Red Sox will counter with Canadian Nick Pivetta. Pivetta is off to a good start to his season, really improving on his numbers from previous seasons. Entering today, Pivetta is 8-5 with a 3.25 ERA, a lot better than his career 4.90 ERA. However, he also got off to a decent start last year, going 6-1 with a 3.78 ERA through 12 starts. But starting with a game against the Jays on June 12, he ended up going 3-7 with a 5.06 ERA the rest of the way.

This will be Pivetta’s third start against the Blue Jays this year, after a back to back starts at the end of April. The Jays’ bats ran up his pitch count in both games, combining for 8.2 total innings while throwing 193 pitches over the two games. The Jays touched him up for 7 runs on 10 hits, walking 8 times while striking out 10. The only home run he gave up was to Raimel Tapia.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Alejandro Kirk was limited to pinch hitting duties yesterday, but he still managed to come out of it with another big hit. He’s going to be starting this one behind the plate catching Manoah. Gabriel Moreno will be back on the bench today.

Although the splits aren’t that pronounced, this feels like a game the Jays might look to load up on lefties in the lineup. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zack Collins at the DH spot, and then both Raimel Tapia and Cavan Biggio in the field as well. The next week is going to be a horrible grind with a 5 game series against the Rays this weekend followed by a West Coast trip without an off day, so the Jays will probably need to lean on their bench a bit more.

Red Sox’ Lineup

The Red Sox have a day off tomorrow, so they’re likely going to with their full A-lineup today, hoping to escape Canada with a win.

For some stupid reason, the Red Sox have trotted out Rob Refsnyder, the guy with a career .233/.319/.329 (80 wRC+) in the leadoff spot this week with Jarren Duran sitting at home. In doing their best imitation of the Yankees, the Red Sox have turned a fringe player into a monster for no good reason. After his 2-5 day with the big home run, Refsnyder is now hitting .368/.444/.632 (200 wRC+) through 45 PA. It’s not going to last, but it has already lasted more than it had any business lasting. Don’t be surprised to see him connect on a 2-run double off Manoah or something stupid.

Yesterday’s home run by Trevor Story in the second inning was the first home run by the Red Sox against the Blue Jays this year. Before that home run, they went 294 PA over 8+ games without hitting a home run against Blue Jays’ pitchers.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Marcus Semien went 3-4, falling just a triple short of the cycle, and drove in 4 runs to take home the Monster Bat award. Semien’s big day helped the Rangers to the 8-3 win over the Royals.

Christian Walker had a big walk in the bottom of the 8th, and followed that up with a walk off fielder’s choice in the 9th, giving him the WPA King trophy with a .518 mark. Walkers’ big late at bats helped his Diamondbacks eke out the 7-6 win over the Padres.

Framber Valdez continued the Astros’ recent run of good starts, throwing 8 shutout innings yesterday on his way to the Pitcher of the Day award. Valdez struck out 5 and earned the win as the Astros walked all over the Mets 9-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Trevor Story and Patrick Wisdom.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant