After splitting a tough road trip, the Blue Jays return home to welcome the White Sox into town. Today is the Romansen Bobblehead giveaway if you’re going to the game, otherwise you can catch it on Sportsnet One or on the radio, with first pitch set for 7:07 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Chris Bassitt heads to the mound, making his fifth start of the year for his new team. After digging himself a massive hole in his first start of the year, he has done a great job digging back out of it, now sitting with a 2-2 record and 5.40 ERA after giving up 9 ER in 3.1 innings to open the season. His latest start was certainly his best effort, as he held the formidable Astros scoreless over 6.1 innings, surrendering just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 5. While he certainly won’t be that good every time going forward, it was great to see him limit the walks and home runs, and turn in a great outing.
White Sox’ Starter
Veteran Lance Lynn will get the ball for the White Sox, also making his fifth start of the year. He enters play having a bit rougher time than Bassitt even, entering play with an 0-2 record and a 7.59 ERA. He has been getting a lot of strikeouts this year, with 28 in his 21.1 innings, but he has also gotten hit hard while giving up more home runs and walks than Bassitt (1 more of each). But unlike Bassitt, Lynn has spread out the damage against him, missing that truly dominant outing that Bassitt has while still having a really bad stinker against a National League team.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Alejandro Kirk has caught Bassitt each of his last three starts, so there’s no reason to expect that to be any different. Danny Jansen likely starts the day on the bench.
Lynn seems like an ideal matchup for Cavan Biggio, at least out of the three starters that the White Sox will be sending out. I expect him to be starting at second base tonight.
Barring an unforeseen injury or illness, expect to see the normal lineup against righties tonight, with Daulton Varsho in LF, Kevin Kiermaier in CF and Brandon Belt at DH. Belt may slide to first base to give Vladimir Guerrero Jr. a DH day, but that’s the only deviance I’d expect to see.
White Sox’ Lineup
It hasn’t been a great year on the offensive side of things for the White Sox. They’re in the bottom half of runs scored at 4.27 per game, hitting .241/.299/.393 (93 wRC+). They have had one of the harder schedules to start the season, and it isn’t over for them once they leave Toronto either, as they head home to face the Rays again. They’re currently in the middle of a 10 game stretch where they have 7 against the 19-3 Rays, and the other three games are against the team that gave the Rays 2 of those losses.
They’re also currently without a couple big names, as Yoán Moncada and Tim Anderson are both on the IL right now. Neither are expected to be out too much longer, but I’m not sure either are expected this week. It seems Moncada is closer, but there hasn’t been an update recently.
The White Sox do have a few players having good seasons, with Jake Burger leading the way. He has taken over at 3B with Moncada on the IL, and has put up a .231/.326/.692 (171 wRC+) line in limited time. Gavin Sheets (157 wRC+) and Yasmani Grandal (139 wRC+) are also off to hot starts.
The early season disappointments come from Andrew Vaughn (113 wRC+, but negative WAR), Luis Robert (94 wRC+), Andrew Benintendi (91 wRC+), Eloy Jiménez (82 wRC+) and Elvis Andrus (44 wRC+). All five of them could add 30 points to their wRC+ and nobody would find it abnormal, so they certainly have a lot of realistic room for improvement.
Vince Velasquez threw 7 shutout innings, most of which was while his team was up 1-0, which is a great way to build up your WPA. As a result, he is the WPA King after racking up .462 WPA on the day. He also got the win, as his Pirates beat the Reds 2-0.
Velasquez was one of three pitchers to throw 7 shutout innings yesterday, joining Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez allowed just 1 baserunner though, so he gets the Pitcher of the Day award. Unlike Velasquez and Gausman though, Rodriguez earned a no decision, as his Tigers fell to the Orioles 2-1 in extra innings.
Find the Link
Find the link between Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Gerrit Cole.