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Game #121 Preview: Stripling vs Winckowski

Blue Jays (65-55) vs Red Sox (60-62)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

After a successful trip into Yankee Stadium, the Blue Jays head to Fenway Park in search of some more much needed wins, as they open a three game set against the Red Sox. Today’s game is set to get underway at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Ross Stripling will head to the mound to make his second start since coming back from his short stint on the Injured List. In his return last week, he was phenomenal, throwing 6.1 shutout innings, including setting down the first 18 batters he faced and carrying a perfect game into the 7th inning. He ended up allowing a single, getting an out and then coming out, while Yimi Garcia stranded that runner. That great outing ran his season numbers to a fantastic 5-3 with a 2.93 ERA, and an even better 2.87 FIP.

Matching up against the Red Sox, this will be Stripling’s fourth start, and each of the first three were strong but brief. Through a combined 14 innings, he has allowed 5 runs on 15 hits and 2 walks, striking out 11 while walking just 2. He allowed just one home run in that span, a solo shot from Trevor Story.

Red Sox’ Starter

Former Blue Jays’ farmhand Josh Winckowski, making the 13th start of his rookie season, will face his former franchise for the first time at the big league level. Winckowski has been up and down a few times this year, and has spent some time on the taxi squad as well. He was most recently optioned out just a few days ago, so someone will need to go on the IL to facilitate that move. Nathan Eovaldi last pitched 11 days ago and is dealing with a shoulder/neck issue, so that seems to be the likely choice.

The 24 year old righty has thrown 60.2 innings at the big league level this year, pitching to a 5-6 record with a 5.19 ERA. His FIP is right there as well, coming in at 5.21. The walk rate and home run rate are close enough to league average that it’s not notable, but the high FIP comes from a ridiculously low K rate of just 5.34 per 9 innings. Of the 164 pitchers who have thrown at least 60 innings, just 6 of them have a lower K rate.

One other thing to note on his home run rate - after allowing just 1 over his first 5 starts and 26 innings, he has allowed 9 over his last 8 starts and 34.2 innings since.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

After fighting through elbow problems enough to get back on the field, George Springer proceeded to get hot, and then foul a ball off his knee. He three games over the weekend, although he did manage pinch hitting duties on Sunday. With a hit in that pinch hit opportunity, Springer has a hit in each of his last 8 at bats, with a walk thrown in there too. The Major League record is 12 at bats in a row, but I’m not sure on the Blue Jays’ record. It is either 9 or Springer is already there at 8.

On the topic of foul balls taking a player out, Teoscar Hernández fouled a ball off his foot on Saturday, but was back in the lineup Sunday as DH. Hopefully the day off yesterday gave him a good opportunity to rest it up some more.

Red Sox’ Lineup

Trevor Story, with his fractured wrist, is the only member of the Red Sox’ offensive unit currently on the IL. He is taking some batting practice at the moment, and is likely getting close to heading out on a rehab assignment.

The Red Sox added a trio of regulars to their lineup at the deadline (and also moved out Christian Vázquez and Jackie Bradley Jr.). They added old friend Reese McGuire to cover for the loss of Vázquez, Eric Hosmer to have a platoon partner for Bobby Dalbec at 1B, and added Tommy Pham to cover the hole in a corner outfield spot that they didn’t fix in the winter.

Even with the changes, the Red Sox’ offense is still centered on the Bogaerts and Devers show. Bogaerts has had a rough second half, after posting a 138 wRC+ up to the All Star break, he has just a 96 wRC+ since, thanks to a horrible August (.209/.239/.343 - 57 wRC+). Devers has somehow been even worse in August, hitting .155/.218/.324 (37 wRC+) after entering the month with a 171 wRC+ on the year.

Yesterday’s Heroes

It was a quiet day on the offensive side of things, so I’ll give the Monster Bat to Nick Castellanos, who hit a home run and a double, the only player with 2 extra base hits yesterday. Castellanos’ bat helped his Phillies to the 4-1 win over the Reds.

Jordan Montgomery pitched arguably the game of the year yesterday. He threw a 1 hit shutout on 99 pitches, holding the Cubs to that lone baserunner in the Cardinals 1-0 win and running away with the Pitcher of the Day award. And since the game was so close and Montgomery so dominant, he gets the WPA King trophy as well with a .795 mark.

Find the Link

Find the link between Reese McGuire and the recently fired Chris Woodward.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant