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Game #153 Preview: Stripling vs McClanahan

Blue Jays (85-67) vs Rays (84-68)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays will look to earn the necessary split as they wrap up their series with the Rays in Tampa. A split would put them back to two games up on the Rays, giving them a little bit of breathing room going into the final nine games. The attempt at that split starts with first pitch at 1:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Ross Stripling heads to the mound for the Jays, looking to bounce back from his first bad start in months. Against the Phillies last week, Stripling went just 4 innings, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits, including a home run. He didn’t walk anyone at least, striking out 3. By game score, that was his worst start of the season, and also the first time he didn’t go 6 innings since July 30. But even with that start, he is 8-4 with a 3.21 ERA and a matching 3.21 FIP over a career high 123.1 innings. He has been a huge part of the Jays’ success this year.

This will be Stripling’s first start at Tropicana field this year, but the third time he will be facing the Rays. His two starts in Toronto combined for 11 innings, where he allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. He allowed a pair of home runs, both to Harold Ramírez.

Rays’ Starter

Rays’ Ace Shane McClanahan gets the ball today, making his 27th start of the season. McClanahan had missed a couple weeks at the start of September, but came back strong to face the Jays 10 days ago. He lasted just 5 innings, but held the Jays off the board in that one with just 3 hits and a walk. His start before that against the Jays was just as good, where he allowed a run on 3 hits and a walk over 7 innings, so success against the Jays is unfortunately something he is used to this year.

His success hasn’t just been against the Jays though. Through a career high 156.1 innings on the season, he is 12-6 with a 2.36 ERA. That ERA places him 6th in the Majors, just behind Alek Manoah’s 2.31. McClanahan’s 2.74 FIP places him 7th in the Majors, with only Justin Verlander placing better than him in both categories. In other words, McClanahan has been one of baseball’s best pitchers this year.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Rays’ Lineup

This is the last home game for the Rays before they end their season with 9 on the road.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Hunter Renfroe went 4-5, launching a pair of home runs and driving in 5 to take home the Monster Bat award. His big day helped his Brewers beat the Reds 10-2 and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Yuli Gurriel had a game tying double in the top of the 8th, and a go ahead single in the top of the 10th, helping his Astros to the eventual 11-10 win over the Orioles. For his effort, Gurriel gets the WPA King trophy with a .645 WPA on the day.

Despite yesterday’s great outing, Alek Manoah isn’t quite the Pitcher of the Day. He was edged out by Johan Oviedo, who also went 7 shutout innings, but allowed 2 fewer hits and didn’t walk anyone to Manoah’s 2. A tight race, which also featured Sandy Alcantara with 1 run over 8 innings. But Oviedo is the Pitcher of the Day, as his Pirates beat the Cubs 6-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Shane McClanahan and Alex Cobb.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant