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Game #118 Preview: Gausman vs Taillon

Blue Jays (63-54) vs Yankees (73-46)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After an excellent win yesterday, the Blue Jays continue their series in the Bronx tonight, playing the second of four against the hometown Yankees. Tonight’s game is a standard time one at 7:05 ET, but in order to watch the game, you will need to head on over to Apple TV instead of something convenient.

Note that I am gone this weekend, so there won’t be previews Saturday or Sunday. Saturday is Mitch White vs Gerrit Cole at 1:05 ET, and Sunday is Alek Manoah vs Nestor Cortes at 1:35 ET. Both of those games are on regular TV. When I get back from my short little trip, I would love to see that the Jays completed the sweep.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Kevin Gausman gets the ball for the Jays, his 23rd start of the year. He has been fantastic through his 122.1 innings, although the 8-9 record and 3.16 ERA don’t quite show just how great he has been. The FIP especially shows that, coming in at an MLB-best 2.08.

Gausman is coming off a very rough outing against the Guardians his last time out, one of his worst starts of the season. He gave up 5 runs on 9 hits in just 4.2 innings. He also surrendered his 7th home run, and for the 5th time in 22 starts, he gave up at least one home run and one walk in the same outing (he has never issued more than one of both).

This will surprisingly be just Gausman’s second outing against the Yankees this year. His first outing came back in mid-April, and he did fairly well. Pitching through just 5.2 innings, he held the Yankees to 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 9. This was in the early phase of his “no homers, no walks” run, so he definitely didn’t give up either of those.

Yankees’ Starter

Jameson Taillon gets the ball for the Yankees, making his 24th start of the year. Through 127.2 innings, he is 11-3 with a 3.95 ERA, and a nearly matching 4.02 FIP. He has done a fantastic job limiting walks this year, with just a 1.69 per 9 inning rate, one of the best rates in the Majors. But he has been knocked around a bit on the home run front, as his 19 home runs are tied with Yusei Kikuchi for 14th most in the Majors. And Taillon isn’t generating strikeouts this year just 108 in his 127.2 innings.

This will remarkably the fifth time that Taillon will be facing the Jays this year, and he has enjoyed each of the first four. Through a combined 22 innings, he has held the Jays to just 5 runs on 20 hits and 3 walks, striking out 22. He has given up one home run, a two run shot to George Springer back in the 4th game of the season.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Speaking of George Springer, he was fantastic at the plate last night, and has been phenomenal since coming back from the IL on Monday. He is now 9-14 with a pair of doubles, scoring a run in all four games. He’s a catalyst for this team, and as mentioned on the broadcast last night, he’s worth just keeping at the DH spot the rest of the way if that’ll keep him healthy and have his bat in the lineup.

For whatever reason, the Jays opted to go with an all right handed lineup yesterday, despite the game being in Yankee Stadium and Montas having some pretty pronounced platoon splits. With Taillon on the hill today, there’s another starter with some pronounced splits, so hopefully we’ll see Raimel Tapia and Cavan Biggio get the starts over Whit Merrifield and Santiago Espinal. Both Merrifield and Espinal struggle against righties, and both unsurprisingly went hitless last night.

Yankees’ Lineup

DJ LeMahieu made the start yesterday, despite missing the previous four games with a toe problem. He didn’t seem to have any ill-effects either, picking up a pair of hits at the top of the lineup.

The Blue Jays’ pitchers held Aaron Judge hitless yesterday, the 4th time in 13 contests this year. Jays’ pitchers have held him to a .241/.305/.482 line this year, striking him out a league high 17 times in 59 plate appearances.

Oswaldo Cabrera picked up the first couple hits of his young career yesterday, a great accomplishment for the 23 year old who made his Major League debut the day before. He has gotten a start at both SS and 3B so far, and could be used by the Yankees to get fewer plate appearances for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who is hitting just .267/.316/.319 (83 wRC+) this year.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Alex Bregman went 4-6 with 2 home runs and 2 RBI, scoring 4 times and driving in 6, earning himself the Monster Bat award. His big day was one of a few for the Astros, as they walked all over the White Sox 21-5.

Yu Darvish pitched an interesting one yesterday. He was dominant through 8, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, and was brought back in for the 9th in a tie game. But he opened up the top of the 9th by giving up a pair of singles around a pop-up. Both of those singles ended up scoring, as Josh Hader had a rough relief appearance, beaning a guy and walking in a run. For Darvish, his first 8 innings in mostly a tie game earned him enough WPA that the hiccup in the 9th didn’t hurt him too much on that front, and he gets the WPA King trophy with a .306 mark, despite taking the loss. His Padres fell 3-1 to the Nationals.

While Darvish was good, it is Zac Gallen who gets to take home the Pitcher of the Day awad. He went 7.1 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and nothing else while striking out 12. He also picked up the win, as the Diamondbacks went into San Francisco and shut out the Giants 5-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant