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Game #6 Preview: Manoah vs Greinke

Blue Jays (2-3) vs Royals (1-4)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After a much happier and calming win last night, the Blue Jays will look to carry their momentum forward this evening in the third game of this four game set against the host Royals. Tonight’s game is once again set to get underway at 7:40 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Alek Manoah heads back to the mound, looking to rebound from a rough opening day outing. In that start, he went just 3.1 innings, surrendering 5 runs on 9 hits, walking 2 and giving up 2 home runs. He did manage to strike out 3 and get a decent amount of weak contact, but aside from his velocity being up to assuage those spring training fears, that’s about all there was for positives for him in that first game.

Royals’ Starter

Veteran Zack Greinke will get the ball for the Royals, making his second start of the year. Greinke got the nod on opening day for the third time in his career with Royals, and he pitched a pretty solid game against the Guardians. In 5.1 innings, he allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 4. Notably a soft tosser, Greinke was averaging about 90mph on fastball last week, mid-season numbers for him at this stage in his career.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Yesterday was an exciting day for Daulton Varsho, and I’m sure he made himself a lot of new fans because of it. His dynamic play should continue to be a pretty huge lift for this team.

Matt Chapman had another great game yesterday, his fourth multi-hit effort in five games this season. Taking a look at the early season leaderboards, Chapman sits at the top for batting average, hits and doubles so far. Yesterday he was up in the cleanup spot in the batting order against the lefty, but I’d guess he slides back down today. But I’d have him ahead of Alejandro Kirk at this point.

Outside of Chapman, who has half of the team’s doubles this year, the Blue Jays are hitting surprisingly few extra base hits. Their team batting average of .294 is second in all of baseball, but their .089 ISO is the fourth lowest. Early season anomalies with sample sizes of course, but it’s pretty surprising nonetheless.

Brandon Belt will be back in the lineup today, and he has definitely had experience in the box against Greinke. In 40 at bats, he has a .300 average with a pair of home runs off him.

Royals’ Lineup

After going with a lefty heavy lineup against Berríos on Monday and a righty heavy lineup against Kikuchi yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a more balanced lineup today.

Nate Eaton and Nicky Lopez, both of whom are listed as bench bats, drew starts in the field in the first two games. Out of everyone, I’d guess both of them will be on the bench today.

Bobby Witt Jr., Hunter Dozier and Jackie Bradley Jr. are the only other players to start in both games this series. It would appear that the Royals are trying to get everyone decent rest at the start of the season, so don’t be surprised to see these guys on the bench in this one.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Brian Anderson had a big day yesterday, going 3-4 with a pair of home runs and a double, driving in 6 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His big day helped his new friends in Milwaukee take down the Mets 9-0.

Sandy Alcantara threw the first complete game shutout of 2023 yesterday, holding the undefeated Twins to just 3 hits and a walk to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. The Marlins won the game 1-0, and when you pitch the entirety of such a close game, you’re going to rack up the WPA, and Alcantara also takes home the WPA King trophy with a .719 mark on the day.

Find the Link

Find the link between Zack Greinke and Red Faber.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant