The Blue Jays wrap up their series against the Yankees this evening, looking to earn the split against their AL East foe. Gametime for this one is once again set for 7:07 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
José Berríos gets the ball for the Jays, making his 9th start of the season. He enters play with a 3-3 record and a 4.70 ERA, although his FIP is more than a run better coming in at 3.59. That FIP puts him 25th out of the 70 qualified starters in all of baseball, a significant improvement from where he was last season. He is getting more strikeouts again this year and is managing to limit the damage from home runs, both very important things if you want to find success.
Left hander Nestor Cortes gets the ball for the Yankees, also making his 9th start of the season. This year has certainly gone a lot worse for Cortes, as he has been unable to repeat the success that earned him a few Cy Young votes last year. After going 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA last season, he is now 3-2 with a 5.53 ERA through 42.1 innings this year. His strikeouts are down, his walks and homers allowed are up, and he’s just not dominating the way he was last season.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did get good news from his MRI in that there was no structural damage, but he sat out last night due to his knee discomfort. He probably should get a couple days off, but don’t be surprised to see him fight his way into the lineup.
If Guerrero is out, one of Cavan Biggio or Brandon Belt will need to be in the lineup. So far this season in the first 9 games the Jays have faced a lefty starter, Biggio has never started and Belt has once. Belt went 0-4 and struck out 3 times in that game. Against lefties in general this year he is 0-9 with 5 strikeouts while Biggio is 1-6 with 4 strikeouts.
Kevin Kiermaier was out of the lineup yesterday with an illness, a long standing virus that just doesn’t seem to be able to get out of the Blue Jays’ clubhouse. Multiple Blue Jays are currently afflicted once again, but it was only Kiermaier who was bad enough to be noticeably out of the game yesterday. With a lefty on the mound, he may be out again today, but nobody really knows who is going to be healthy enough to play this evening.
The combo of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo are the high points of this offense, and the Jays’ pitchers were able to hold them down yesterday, or at least walk their way past them in big spots, ending the top of the 10th with an intentional walk to Judge before Jordan Romano struck out Rizzo. Keeping Judge and Rizzo down are key to finding success against this lineup.
With Berríos on the mound, expect to see the Yankees get as many lefties into the lineup as possible, meaning Willie Calhoun and Aaron Hicks likely both get starts today. Switch hitter Oswaldo Cabrera has been all over the diamond defensively in this series, and today he might get the start at second base to accommodate both Calhoun and Hicks in the lineup.
Anthony Volpe was on the bench to start yesterday’s game, although he did finish the game in the field after a pinch hitting appearance. He struck out and then made an error in the 10th inning, probably not the outcomes he was hoping for. But he’ll undoubtedly be back out at SS again today.
Just moments after Danny Jansen walked the Jays off with a 1-out 10th inning 3-run home run, Pete Alonso did the same thing for the Mets over the Rays. Except for Alonso they were down by 2 and needed all 3 runs for the victory. So unlike Jansen who only got .159 WPA on his walk-off, Alonso’s home run was worth .805, skyrocketing him to the WPA King trophy. He finished the day with ~just~ a .626 mark thanks to an 0-4 line to start the game, but that was all quickly forgotten as he led the Mets to the 8-7 win over the Rays.
Chris Bassitt once again is our Pitcher of the Day, his second consecutive outing where he won the award. While he didn’t go the distance this time, his 7 shutout innings was still the best pitching performance of the night. He gave up 3 hits, a walk and a bean ball while striking out 7 batters in his no decision.
Find the Link
Find the link between Anthony Rizzo and Chase Utley.