JFtC offers a preview of what to expect as the Toronto Blue Jays welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to town
The Blue Jays are coming back from a 6 game home stand where they lost 4 of the last 6. Now that the Blue Jays are coming home, they have a 3 game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2018, Toronto was only able to win 6 times over the Rays, and tonight they begin to try to change that. So what can we expect from the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend?
As we have reached the point where, if he were to come up this season would not be a part of his service time, his arrival to finally joining the Blue Jays could come very soon. However, as he has been called up to Buffalo to play in Scranton, the likelihood is he will not be making his Blue Jays debut at home this weekend.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been hot recently winning their last 4 games in a row sweeping the White Sox and winning 5 of the last 6. The AL East leading Rays are currently 10-3 on the season. In 13 games this season the Rays have only let in 26 runs, so for the Blue Jays who have been struggling offensively they need to get to the Rays early and often. Offensively, the Rays have not been as productive with Austin Meadows leading the way for Tampa with a 341 Batting Average with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs to start the season. The other two to watch is Tommy Pham and Avisail Garcia who have been pretty hot as well.
Defensively the Rays have been great so far. The team currently has a 2.66 FIP which is incredible considering the league average is around 4. The team’s WHIP is currently under 1 (0.949) and the team ERA is 1.98. Stanek will get the ball on Friday against Trent Thornton. Stanek has not been great in his other two starts this season. AL CY Young Winner Blake Snell will start Saturday averaging 6.1 Innings per start this season. Finally the Sunday game will have Charlie Morton coming for Tampa.
What to expect from the Blue Jays?
I would say Friday will be the best chance to win against Tampa Bay as Stanek has struggled and Thronton has been solid for the Blue Jays this season. I would expect a lot from Rowdy Tellez who in 8 games last season averaged a 345 batting average against Tampa, hitting 3 home runs and 9 RBIs in the process. Freddy Galvis continues to be hot for the Blue Jays and Randal Grichuk isn’t so bad himself. This could also be a weekend for someone like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who has struggled to start the season but seems to do well against the Rays. In 9 games against Tampa he has 4 home runs and 7 RBIs. Not to mention this weekend is a big deal for new bench boss Charlie Montoyo who will face his former team for the first time since becoming the manager of the Blue Jays.
I would expect a win against Tampa on Friday, a loss on Saturday and a great rubber match on Sunday. Overall it’s going to be a great weekend for the Blue Jays.
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