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Game #66: Ryan vs Wholestaff

Twins (32-32) vs Blue Jays (36-29)

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Blue Jays continue their series against the Twins this afternoon, looking to bounce back after losing the series opener last night. Today’s game is set to get underway at 3:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Trevor Richards has been tabbed as today’s opener, and he’s likely to go an inning or two. Richards has had a solid start to his season, putting up a 3.67 ERA over 27 innings. He has done a fantastic job striking batters out, with 42. That gives him a 14.0/9 innings rate, which is the 9th best mark in all of baseball among pitchers with at least 20 innings. Richards has still been a bit snake bitten by his normal menaces though, as he is well above league average in both walks and home runs allowed. But the strikeouts at least have been great, thanks to his phenomenal changeup.

Following Richards will likely be a combination of Bowden Francis and Mitch White. Both Francis and White will be making their season debuts, but for Francis it will be just his second big league outing. He faced 3 batters in a game against Boston last April, where he allowed a hit and picked up a strikeout.

For White, he’ll be trying to make a good second impression on Jays fans, after a rough first go around last season after a trade we will discuss no further. White threw 43 innings for the Jays last year, and he was bad. He went 0-5 in 10 games with an ERA of 7.74. He got knocked around with some very hittable pitches, but did at least somehow manage a 3.76 FIP. He doesn’t strike many out, nor does he do a good job limiting walks. And while he does get hit a fair bit, it doesn’t go out of the park often. A silver lining with that is that perhaps an improved outfield defense for the Jays will lead to success for White.

Twins’ Starter

The Twins will counter with right hander Joe Ryan, who is off to a great start to his season. Through 12 starts thus far, Ryan is 7-3 with a 2.76 ERA and a matching 2.76 FIP over 71.2 innings. Among qualified starters, his 80:14 strikeout to walk ratio is the 5th best in baseball while he continues to improve at limiting home runs.

Ryan’s best pitch is easily his low-90s fastball, which he throws nearly 60% of the time. By Baseball Savant’s run value metric, it is the third most valuable pitch in all of baseball, tied with Framber Valdez’ sinker that we just got to see on Thursday.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

There’s a bit of a shakeup today, with MVP Brandon Belt bumped up into the 3 spot to split up the righties a bit more.

Twins’ Lineup

Canadian Edouard Julien was recalled before today’s game and it appears he gets to start the game off today for the first time on home soil.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Isaac Parades went 3-4 with a pair of home runs and a double, driving in 6 runs to take home the Monster Bat award. He was the big piece of the Rays’ game, as they took down the second best team in baseball in their 8-3 win over the Rangers.

Kyle Schwarber had a big game yesterday, with a big triple in 1-0 game early, a couple walks throughout the game, and then capped it off with a walkoff home run. In total, he contributed .682 WPA towards the Phillies’ 5-4 victory over the Dodgers and gets to go home with the WPA King trophy.

It was a pretty mediocre bag of results on the pitching side of things, but Jordan Montgomery is probably the standout, so he gets the Pitcher of the Day award. Montgomery went 6 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 6. He got the win as well, as his Cardinals took down the Reds 7-4.

Find the Link

Find the link between Royce Lewis, Joe Mauer and Tim Belcher.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant