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Game #103 Preview: Gausman vs Rasmussen

Blue Jays (57-45) vs Rays (54-48)

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

As the trade deadline approaches today, the Blue Jays will prepare themselves to open the post-deadline schedule at the Little Trop of Horrors, taking on the hometown Rays for a short two game series. The first game of the series gets underway at 7:10 ET, just over an hour after the 6pm ET trade deadline. Both the Rays and Jays are expected to make some moves today, so the teams could look a bit different than it sets up right now.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Kevin Gausman will go for the Jays, and barring an injury, that won’t be changing. Gausman will be making his 20th start of the season, bringing a 7-8 record and 3.30 ERA into the game. His FIP has been fantastic this season, but isn’t showing up fully in games for Gausman, as his 2.06 FIP is still the best in baseball, but the difference between his FIP and ERA one of the greatest in all of baseball.

There are many theories as to why his results aren’t close to the process, with many falling back on to the shift that has hurt him. But he has also just given up a lot more solid hits with high hit probability, especially lately. There is certainly a combination of bad luck and bad positioning in there too, but the fact that he can carry a 2.06 FIP yet see the team go 9-10 in his starts is quite baffling.

Rays’ Starter

The Rays will counter with Drew Rasmussen, who will be making his 18th start in what has become his first full season of starting. At 82.1 innings, he is now just 5 innings short of the total he put up last year between the Minors and Majors, but given his success and strength thus far, the Rays are probably hoping to be able to use him as a starter right through the end of the season as they fight for a playoff spot.

On the season Rasmussen is 6-3 with a 3.17 ERA. Two of his starts have come against the Blue Jays, and he has gotten strong results thus far. Across 10.1 innings, he has allowed 3 runs (2 earned), surrendering 8 hits and 3 walks. The Jays batters don’t have a home run off him yet, but they also have just 3 strikeouts in 40 plate appearances.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

With today’s trade deadline looming, there’s a chance that there could be some changes here, but realistically even if there is a move today, it likely won’t change anything in today’s lineup, unless there’s a massive move that sends out a position player. Even then, any new players acquired today likely aren’t going to be able to make it to Tampa in time for tonight’s game.

Danny Jansen has caught Gausman in each of his last three starts, but Gausman hasn’t seen favourable returns, and the pairing doesn’t seem to be working overly well. I wouldn’t object to Alejandro Kirk getting the Gausman starts.

Both George Springer and Bo Bichette had some injury scares on Thursday night, which led to off days on Friday. They both returned to the lineup on Saturday, but Springer was once again absent for Sunday’s game. Concerns over Springer are certainly plentiful, and the Jays may feel the need today to get some more insurance in case of longer term injury.

Rays’ Lineup

The Rays currently have a fairly significant and impactful injured list. Both regular catchers Mike Zunino and Francisco Mejia are out, although neither were anywhere close to the dominating bats they were last year. Young phenom Wander Franco is out for several weeks after going for wrist surgery a few weeks ago. And the Rays are without a trio of outfielders in Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot and Harold Ramírez.

The Rays have already made a couple trades in the last couple days, bringing in outfielders David Peralta and Jose Siri to help cover for their currently injured outfielders. Siri has been a Kiermaier-level defender in the outfield this year, while Peralta brings a solid veteran left handed bat to the lineup while still contributing strong defense in LF.

Brandon Lowe, who started off really bad (66 wRC+ in 88 April plate appearances), missed several weeks from mid-may to early July. Since coming back, he has looked like the Lowe of old, hitting .340/.392/.553 in 51 PA, bringing his season total line to a 125 wRC+.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Jose Trevino had a pair of home runs yesterday, good enough to take home the Monster Bat award. His big day helped his Yankees beat the Mariners 7-2.

Jose Miranda had a game tying 2-run single in the 8th inning, and a game tying 1-run single in the 10th inning, on his way to helping his Twins beat the Tigers 5-3 in extras. Miranda gets the WPA King trophy with a .536 mark.

Mike Clevinger fired 7 dominating innings yesterday, getting the Pitcher of the Day award along the way. He made it through 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and no walks, striking out 6. He picked up the win as well, as his Padres beat the Rockies 4-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between Jose Siri and Wilson Ramos.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant