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Game #98 Preview: Wainwright vs Gausman

Cardinals (51-47) vs Blue Jays (54-43)

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays will go for the mini two game sweep of the visiting Cardinals, looking to take the season series 3 games to 1. A win today would also push their winning streak to 8 games. Tune in this evening at 7:07 ET for first pitch and see if it’ll happen.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Kevin Gausman will go for the Jays, working on normal rest coming out of the All Star break after missing some time before it with a bruised foot/ankle. Despite some home runs allowed, he hasn’t looked too bad coming off the injury, although the home runs are notable, if only because they’re 3 of the 5 he has allowed all season. But his overall numbers on the season are still great, coming into play with a 7-7 record and 3.00 ERA, as well as a Major League best 1.98 FIP.

This will be Gausman’s second start against the Cardinals this year, and the first one went quite well. He worked 6 shutout innings in that one, allowing 4 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8, and came out of the game with an 8-0 lead, earning the win once that one was over. Paul Goldschmidt had 2 hits and a walk in his 3 PA in that game, so him not being in Toronto is a welcome sight for Gausman.

Cardinals’ Starter

The Cardinals will counter with 40 year old veteran righty Adam Wainwright, who will be making his 20th start of the season. The remarkably durable Wainwright is 6-8 with a 3.40 ERA over 116.1 innings, averaging over 6 innings per start. On the process side of things, he’s not striking many batters out (7.04 per 9 innings), but he is at least limiting walks (2.63 BB/9) and keeping the ball in the yard (1.01 HR/9), both rates better than league average.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Cavan Biggio has made three straight starts, and the matchup against Wainwright seems like another one that he should be out there in. He has taken advantage of his starts as well, going a combined 3-10 with a double and a pair of walks, and not striking out at all.

Bo Bichette, despite his two doubles yesterday, isn’t having as much fortune at the plate recently. He has struck out at least once in 13 straight games now, and continues to see his wRC+ hover around the 100 mark. If the Blue Jays can see his bat get going back to where it has been in the past, that’ll be another huge addition to this already powerful offense.

Alejandro Kirk caught last night, so I would assume that Danny Jansen will be back behind the plate catching Gausman tonight. Hopefully that means Kirk is DH, but the Jays may opt to give Kirk the night off and get the hot lefty bats of both Biggio and Raimel Tapia in there against Wainwright.

Cardinals’ Lineup

Canadian Tyler O’Neill had a very rough game yesterday, going 0-5 with a strikeout. This has been a rough year for him after a monster season last year, with his wRC+ now down to 86. In 2021, O’Neill garnered some MVP votes, posting a 144 wRC+ while taking home his second consecutive Gold Glove award. His hamstring has caused him issues this year, and has really hampered his bat, his playing, and probably his opportunity at a third straight Gold Glove as well.

The Cardinals have three new faces on the bench for this series in Iván Herrera, Cory Spangenberg and Conner Capel. They’re likely just here for yesterday’s game and today’s, and aside from a defensive appearance for Spangenberg, they were on the bench yesterday. It’ll be interesting to see if they get a chance today before being sent back out.

Albert Pujols likely makes his final appearance at Rogers Centre today, the end of a long and fantastic career.

Yesterday’s Heroes

George Springer went 3-5 with the grand slam, and that’s good enough for the Monster Bat award. The Jays used his big night to beat the Cardinals 10-3.

Luis García had a big game for the Nationals yesterday, falling a triple short of the cycle while driving in a pair of big runs in the top of the 8th with a go ahead home run. He gets the WPA King trophy with a .610 mark, as his Nationals topped the Dodgers 8-3.

Pablo López had a dominating outing, going through 7 innings with just a solo home run and a single allowed, striking out 11 and taking home the Pitcher of the Day award. He picked up the win as well, as his Marlins beat the Reds 2-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Albert Pujols, Stan Musial and Barry Bonds.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant