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Game #53 Preview: Smeltzer vs Gausman

Twins (31-24) vs Blue Jays (31-21)

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Blue Jays and Twins play the rubber match of their three game series in Toronto, with each team looking for the series victory after trading blow outs in the first two. Gametime for this one is the awkward 1:37 ET.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Major League fWAR leader Kevin Gausman takes the mound for the Jays, looking to continue his strong debut season. Through 10 starts, he is 5-3 with a 2.51 ERA, coupled with a league best 1.57 FIP through 61 innings. Gausman has been dominant all season, also leading the Majors in K/BB ratio thanks to his minimalistic approach to free passes. While I don’t expect this level of dominance to last the whole season, I’m not really seeing any reason to expect a whole lot of regression either. Gausman is filthy, and he’s fooling hitters way too easily.

Twins’ Starter

Left hander Devin Smeltzer gets the ball for the Twins, and if you’re looking for an opponent to cheer for, Smeltzer is probably your guy. A good article from The Athletic (subscription required) talks about the challenges Smeltzer has faced the last few years coming back from cancer and nerve issues.

Smeltzer has been pitching well so far this year through his 4 games, coming into play with a 2-0 record and 1.50 ERA through 24 innings. He isn’t a big strikeout guy, coming in with just 12, but he has walked just 4 batters and has not surrendered a home run yet.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Am I allowed to just put crude emojis here?

Twins’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Pete Alonso went 3-5, knocking out a pair of homers and driving in 5 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His big night helped his first place Mets take down the first place Dodgers 9-5.

Jack Suwinski hit a 2-run, walkoff home run in the bottom of the 9th, giving him the WPA King trophy with a .604 mark. The Pirates used that home run to beat the visiting Diamondbacks 2-1.

Ten different pitchers went at least 7 innings yesterday, as we’re finally starting to see some dominating performances become a bit more normal across the league. The best among them was Zach Davies, who held the Pirates off the board for 7.2 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6, taking home the Pitcher of the Day honours. As noted above though, he didn’t get the win, as the Diamondbacks’ offense and bullpen just wasn’t good enough.

Find the Link

Find the link between Gilberto Celestino, Marco Gonzales and Zack Burdi.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant