Series Preview: Blue Jays vs Tigers July 19-21

 

The Toronto Blue Jays complete their post-All-Star break road trip with a weekend series against the Tigers in Detroit

 

 

 

 

Well, that was fun, the Blue Jays move on from Bean Town with a 3-1 series loss.  Toronto is 2 and 5 since the All-Star break. They were outscored 24 to 22 by Boston but were shutout, 5 to 0, in the finale of the 4-games series.

 

The Blue Jays move on to face the Detroit Tiger. Like the Blue Jays, the Tigers are rebuilding. Unlike the Blue Jays, it’s the opinion of this guy that Detroit is a little further behind in their rebuild. Detroit is last in the American League Central division, behind even the lowly Kansas City Royals.

 

The Tigers are coming off a 4-game sweep at the hand of the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe outscored Detroit 29 to 11. Since the All-Star break, Detroit in 1 and 6.

 

This could be an interesting series. Not because of drama on the field, rather, for the drama off the field. With any luck, Toronto and Detroit could start dealing this weekend as the Trade Deadline inches closer and closer.  The Tigers will be looking to move Nick Castellanos, Shane Greene, ex-Blue Jay Matthew Boyd, and possibly set-up man Joe Jimenez

 

Despite a pair of series loses to begin the 2nd half, Toronto sits 4th in the AL East 27.5 games back of the division-leading New York Yankees and 6.5 games ahead of the cellar-dwelling Baltimore Orioles.

 

Speaking of cellar-dwellers, the Tigers are last in the American League Central division, 28.5 games back of the Minnesota Twins. Detroit owns a 29-63 record and is 12-32 playing at Comerica Park.

 

Friday, July 19, 7:10 pm start

RHP Marcus Stroman (TOR) vs RHP Jordan Zimmerman (DET)

 

Stroman: 5-10 record, 3.25 era, 3.72 FIP, 1.27 WHIP, 2.77 BB/9, 7.16 K/9.

 

Stroman continues to pitch well for the Blue Jays despite all the trade rumors. He took the loss in his last start against the NY Yankees, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits over 6.0IP. He walked 2 and struck out 7. Stroman faced the Tigers in his 1st start of 2019 on Opening Day, March 28th. He didn’t factor in the decision, throwing 7 shutout innings, walking 4, striking 7, and allowing just 2 hits.

 

Zimmerman:  0-6 record, 7.01 era, 4.64 FIP, 1.59 WHIP, 2.56 BB/9, and 5.98 K/9.

 

Zimmerman outdueled Marcus Stroman on Opening Day and will look to repeat his mastery of the Blue Jays. The 33-yr-old held  Toronto to just 1 hit in 7 innings, striking out 4 without walking a batter in a game which Detroit won 2-0 in 10 innings. As you can see from his record above, Zimmerman is still looking for his 1st win in 11 games.

 

Saturday July 20, 6:10 pm start

RHP Trent Thornton (TOR) vs LHP Daniel Norris (DET)

 

Thornton:  3-7 record, 5.25 era, 4.63 FIP, 1.54 WHIP, 4.13 BB/9, and 9.09 K/9.

 

It appears that Thornton is holding on his spot in the rotation by a thread. The 25-yr-old rookie lasted just 1.1IP against Boston in his last start. He allowed 5 runs on 5 hits and walked 3 batters in the defeat. He’s been unable to pitch into the 5th inning in 3 of his last 4 starts but will face a much easier opponent on Saturday. This will be Thornton’s 2nd start against the Tigers. In his last start, Thornton struck out 8 in 5 shutout innings but didn’t factor in the decision.

 

Norris:  2-8 record, 5.14 era, 4.71 FIP, 1.44 WHIP, 2.34 BB/9, and 7.38 K/9.

 

Oh, Daniel Norris. I had such high hopes. Along with LHP Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris was part of package Toronto sent to Detroit to acquire LHP David Price. He was supposed to be the prize, the gem of the trade, the Tigers future ACE; however, Matt Boyd has outperformed Norris. The 26-yr-old has not won since May 12th, going 1-7 with a 5.69ERA and 4.30XFIP while striking out 58 and walking 16 batters in 68.0IP.

 

Sunday, July 21, 1:10 pm start

RHP Jacob Waguespack or LHP Ryan Borucki (TOR) vs LHP Ryan Carpenter (DET)

 

Jacob Waguespack: 1-0, 5.93ERA, 4.31FIP, 1.39WHIP, 2.63BB/9, and 8.56K/9

 

or

 

Borucki: no record

 

The rumor is that Ryan Borucki will either pitch on Sunday or will pitch at home on Monday to open the series against Cleveland. Both pitchers line up for the start, last pitching on the 16th. Wagues looked good in his first career start against the Boston Red Sox. Ultimately, the Red Sox got to him, scoring 4 runs on 6 hits, working 3 walks and striking out 2.

 

Borucki has only thrown 18 innings, 11.IP in AAA, in 2019. I’d rather see Borucki face the lowly Tigers in his first ML start of the season but Waguespack could benefit from facing an easier foe than Boston or New York.

 

More About Detroit

 

The Tigers have a worse offense than Toronto. They rank 30th in runs scored and 29th with 83 home runs. Toronto has 53 more longballs. Neither team can hit for much average or will utilize the running game.

Over the last 10 days, Harold Castro is batting .417 with a pair of doubles, a triple, a HR, 6RBI, and a 1.108OPS. Niko Goodrum is batting .471 with 3 doubles, a HR, 3RBI, and a 1.118OPS. Nicholas Castellanos is batting a steady .286 with 3 doubles, a HR, 2RBI, and .855OPS.

 

Unfortunately, Miguel Cabrera is batting just .125 with a double, an RBI, and .327OPS. Christin Stewart has been unable to grab a starting outfield job, struggling all season. Stewart continues to disappoint batting .208 with 3 doubles, a HR, 3 RBI, and a .780OPS over the last 10 days.

 

Prediction:  Toronto has a really good chance at sweeping but I bet the Tigers take the rubber match on Sunday. Stroman should win his final start in a Toronto uniform. Thornton should bounce back, having an easier time against the inexperienced Tigers much as he did against Baltimore on July 7th (W, 6IP, 3H, 0BB, 5K).

 

 

 

 


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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.