Series Preview: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays

Jays From the Couch gets you set for a Toronto Blue Jays series against the Texas Rangers

 

 

 

The Blue Jays continue their 10 game homestand with three agains their 2015/2016 playoff rivals, the Texas Rangers.

 

Texas has a record of 59-58. They sit in third place in the AL West division, 18 games behind the first place Astros and 8.5 games out of the second wild card spot. Toronto is 49-72, in fourth place in the AL East division, 29.5 games behind the first place Yankees and 20.5 games out of the second wild card spot.

 

The Rangers are 6-4 in their last 10 games and the Jays are 5-5 in their last 10.

 

In spite of their overall record, the Jays as a team have been playing somewhat better lately. They are 10-6 in their last 16 games which includes 9 games again the contending Yankees and Rays. They haven’t lost a series since July 26-28, a span of four series which the Jays have either won or split 2-2.

 

Former Blue Jays player Chris Woodward is in his first year as the Rangers bench boss.

 

Monday August 12, 7:07 pm

RHP Jurado (TEX) vs RHP Ramirez (TOR)

 

Neil Ramirez: Record 0-1. 5.40 era. 6.57 FIP. 1.620 WHIP. 4.9 BB/9. 9.7 K/9.

 

Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Jays on August 7. The 30 year old veteran pitched in 16 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2019 before being DFA’d on May 18. He isn’t stretched out enough to pitch the minimum 5 innings you hope for from a starter, the Jays are likely going with a bullpen day to kick off this series.

 

In his last game with Cleveland back on May 17, he pitched 0.2 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits, with no walks and no strikeouts. Ramirez has not faced the Rangers yet in 2019.

 

Ariel Jurado: Record 6-7. 4.74 era. 4.61 FIP. 1.376 WHIP. 2.8 BB/9. 6.7 K/9.

 

The 23 year old MLB sophomore pitcher has gotten in to 24 games for Texas, 14 as a starting pitcher. His overall numbers are a bit better than they were in 2018, although in his last 7 games he is 1-4 with a 6.11 era.

 

His last game was on August 7 vs the Cleveland Indians. He pitched 7 innings, giving up 2 ER on 3 hits, with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. His last game vs Toronto was back on May 3, before he was moved in to the starting rotation. He pitched 1 inning, giving up 1 unearned run on 2 hits, with 1 walk and 1 strikeout, and was the hard luck loser on that day.

 

Tuesday August 13, 7:07 pm

RHP Lynn (TEX) vs LHP Pannone (TOR)

 

Thomas Pannone: Record 2-5. 6.83 era. 5.16  FIP.  1.414 WHIP. 3.7 BB/9. 8.8 K/9.

 

The Jays rotation in 2019 has been a patch work job. The rotation currently consists of Thornton, Pannone, Reid-Foley, Waguespack (who sometimes follows an opener) and TBD. This has been necessary due to trades of former Jays Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, as well as injuries to Ryan Borucki, Matt Shoemaker, Clayton Ricard and Clay Buchholz. Otherwise, their current rotation might all be in the bullpen or AAA.

 

Unfortunately for Pannone, he has been the one who has struggled the most of this group. His last start came on August 8 vs the Yankees. He lasted on 2.1 innings, giving up 7 ER on 6 hits, with no walks and one strikeout. Not surprisingly he took the loss. His last start vs the Rangers came on May 4. He struggled on that day as well, lasting 2.1 innings, giving up 7 ER on 5 hits, with 3 walks and 1 strikeout.

 

Pannone does not lack talent. One example of this came back on April 14. He came in to a game in relief and pitched an immaculate inning, only the third Jays pitcher ever to do so. It may be that, long term, his best role could be as a relief pitcher. For now, and the lack of better available options, he will continue to start for the Jays.

 

Lance Lynn: Record 14-7. 3.60 era. 2.92 FIP. 1.194 WHIP. 2.2 BB/9. 10.3 K/9.

 

The eight year veteran righty has excelled in his first season with the Rangers. His stats have been good across the board, and he has been good for 5.5 wins above replacement, per Fangraphs.

 

His last start was on August 7 vs the Cleveland Indians. He pitched 7 innings, giving up 1 ER on 4 hits, with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. The Jays can only hope they can fare as well against him as they did back on May 4th. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 5 ER on 5 hits, and he also issued 5 walks against 3 strikeouts.

 

Wednesday August 14, 12:37 pm

LHP Allard (TEX) vs RHP Reid-Foley (TOR)

 

Sean Reid-Foley: Record 2-2. 2.36 era. 4.86  FIP.  1.5 WHIP. 5.4 BB/9. 7.8 K/9

 

Reid-Foley, paradoxically, has had more success in MLB so far in 2019 than he did in AAA Buffalo. He has been making the most of his opportunity with the Jays in spite of the high walk rate.

 

Reid-Foley’s last start was August 9 vs the New York Yankees. He pitched 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts, earning the victory. His line could have been much worse than it was. In his final inning, Reid-Foley had bases loaded and shortstop Bo Bichette made a nice leaping catch which saved at least two runs.

 

Reid-Foley has never faced the Texas Rangers.

 

Kolby Allard: Record 0-0. 4.15 era. 2.06  FIP.  1.385 WHIP. 6.2 BB/9. 14.5 K/9

 

The 21 year old lefty was traded to the Rangers on July 30 in exchange for Chris Martin. He made his 2019 MLB season debut on August 9 vs the Milwaukee Brewers. He pitched 4.1 innings, giving up 2 ER on 3 hits, with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. The difference between his era and FIP suggests that he ran in to some bad luck with the defence behind him.

 

Allard has never faced the Blue Jays.

 

Prediction: It’s great for the Jays and their fans to see them playing better than they did for most of the season. It would be great for their streak of not losing series to continue but I think this is going to end at some point. Lynn vs Pannone is a mismatch at least on paper. There are reasons why Neil Ramirez was DFA’d by Cleveland and the Jays were able to sign him to a minor league deal. Slight edge to Reid-Foley in the battle of sophomore starters in the series finale.

 

Texas wins 2-1.

 

 

 


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