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Game #18 Preview: Bassitt vs Urquidy

Blue Jays (10-7) vs Astros (8-9)

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

After last night’s loss, the Blue Jays will look to rebound this evening when they play the second game of their three game series against the host Astros. Tonight’s game is once again set to get underway an hour later than normal, with an 8:10 ET start.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Chris Bassitt returns to the mound, making his fourth start of the season. Bassitt enters play today with a 1-2 record and a 7.63 ERA, and a surprisingly close FIP at 7.76. However, that’s all hurt by a horrid first start of the season where he allowed 9 runs on 10 hits and 4 home runs over just 3.1 innings. He didn’t walk anyone in that start, but he also didn’t strike anyone out.

Bassitt’s last two starts have been a lot closer to what everyone was hoping for out of him - 2 earned runs over 6 innings. He didn’t get to those numbers in the most enjoyable fashion though, walking 8 in the 12 innings. But after striking out none and allowing 4 home runs in his first game, he did better those numbers to 12 strikeouts and 1 home run over the next 12 innings. That’s at least a lot closer to the right way to find success.

Astros’ Starter

Right hander José Urquidy gets the ball for the Astros, entering play with a 1-0 record and a 2.35 ERA through 3 starts. The flyball-happy Urquidy has been much the same this year, a guy who finds success by doing a great job managing the hard contact against him. He isn’t going to strike many out, but he also isn’t going to get himself into much trouble by walking guys. He’ll give up more than his share of home runs, but he’s also going to make everyone watching the game very frustrated that the Jays keep popping the ball up and just missing “hittable” pitches. That’s who Urquidy is.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went hitless and walkless for just the second time this season in yesterday’s game, although he did so while also striking out a season high 3 times. He looked very unsure at the plate yesterday, not something you see out of him often. Hopefully that’s just a one-off.

Matt Chapman finally got a charge into a ball last night, just his second hit since getting sick. However, he also struck out 3 times last night, as the Astros’ pitchers really came prepared on how to beat the middle of the lineup.

It was great to see Santiago Espinal get a home run in his lone plate appearance last night. It was a meaningless one in the sense of the score, but for Espinal to finally get a good swing on a ball this year has to feel great. I doubt he gets the start today, but he may have bought himself some consideration.

Astros’ Lineup

Bassitt spent parts of six years of his career with the Athletics, so the Astros and Minute Maid Park are familiar to him. In four career starts in Houston, the Astros hitters have gotten to him pretty well, as he has a 1-2 record and 8.35 ERA in 18.1 innings. Yordan Alvarez in particular has enjoyed their matchups, going 4-10 with 3 home runs. Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, José Abreu and Martín Maldonado have also faced him a fair bit, but none have been anywhere near as successful.

Chas McCormick missed another game yesterday with his eye issue. He has missed three games now, but he was supposedly available as a pinch runner yesterday if needed, so it sounds like he is at least getting better.

Without McCormick in the lineup, Jake Meyers and Corey Julks have been getting their time in the outfield, and last night they were the standout performers. They both went 2-4 with a home run off Kevin Gausman, and each drove in 3 runs on the night.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Freddie Freeman and Patrick Wisdom both had 2 home runs and single, but Freeman drove in 3 while Wisdom drove in 4, so he gets the slight edge in the Monster Bat award races. Wisdom’s big night helped his Cubs beat the Athletics 10-1.

Freeman just narrowly misses out on the WPA King trophy as well, as his .440 mark falls just short of Jorge Soler’s .442 mark. Soler hit a pinch hit 2-run home run in the bottom of the 7th to make it 4-3, a score the Marlins’ bullpen was able to hold on to as they beat the Giants.

Freeman wasn’t in contention for the Pitcher of the Day award, but it does go to Wisdom’s teammate Hayden Wesneski. Wesneski threw 7 great innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and no walks, striking out 7. He also got the win in that Cubs’ victory over the A’s.

Find the Link

Find the link between Yordan Alvarez, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant