Series Preview: Blue Jays vs Astros August 30th to September 1st

The Toronto Blue Jays say good-bye to the Bringer of Rain and welcome back Roberto Osuna’s Houston Astros to the Rogers Centre

 

The Blue Jays were outscored 10 to 4 by Atlanta, as the clubs split the 2-game series. Toronto will head to Atlanta for a 2-gamer after taking on the Houston Astros. Toronto and Houston will play 3-games to close out the season series.

 

Houston Astros leads the American League West by 10.0 games over the Oakland Athletics. They are 8-2 over their last 10 games and own a 87-48 record. Houston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, 9 to 8, snapping a 6-game win streak but outscored the Rays 31 to 16.

 

The Jays and the Astros met for a 3-game series in the middle of June. Houston took 2 out of 3 at home. Toronto won the rubber match 12 to 0 but fell 15 to 2 in GM1 and 7 to 2 in GM2.

 

Over the last 10 days, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette have paced the Blue Jays offense. Guerrero has batted .379 with 15 total bases, 5RBI, and 3/5 BB/K. Bichette has batted .361 with 2 doubles, 3HR, 24 total bases, and 5RBI. In limited action, Billy McKinney went 4-for-14 with a pair of doubles for a .286BA while Justin Smoak went 5-for-18 (.278) with a double and a HR.

 

Not much has gone well on the mound over the last week and a half. Zack Godley has allowed one run over 6.2IP for a 1.35ERA. Jacob Waguespack threw 10IP with a 1.00WHIP and a 2.70ERA but won’t pitch in this series. The Blue Jays welcomed veteran Clay Buchholz back into the mix. Ken Giles threw 3 scoreless innings with 2 walks and 5K

 

Friday, August 30th, 7:07 pm start

RHP Trent Thornton (TOR) vs LHP Wade Miley (HOU)

 

Trent Thornton: 4-8, 5.34ERA, 4.95FIP, 1.51WHIP, 3.8BB/9, and 8.4K/9

 

The ex-Astro farmhand last faced his club on June 16th. Thornton picked up his 2nd win with 6.2 shutout innings. He walked 3 and struck out 7. Trent continues his development, looking for more consistency start-to-start. Trent will look to finish off August with a win, his last W came on August 1st. In his previous start, Trent Thornton lasted just 4.0IP, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits, a walk, and 4K against the lowly Seattle Mariners.

 

Wade Miley: 13-4, 3.13ERA, 4.35FIP, 1.20WHIP, 2.9BB/9, and 7.6K/9.

 

The 32-yr-old is having a very good season for the Stros. Miley has not faced Toronto in 2019. Miley is having a heck of month with 4 wins in 5 starts. Wade owns a .351ERA with 9BB and 23K over 25.2IP during the month of August. He went 5.0IP against the Los Angeles Angels, striking out 4, walking one and allowing one run (HR) off 5H.

 

Saturday, August 31st, 3:07 pm start

RHP Clay Buchholz (TOR) vs LHP Framber Valdez (HOU)

 

Buchholz: 0-3, 5.87ERA, 5.36FIP, 1.33WHIP, 1.8BB/9, and 4.4K/9

 

The 35-yr-old can still navigate his way through a lineup; unfortunately, he struggles to stay healthy. Buchholz will make his 7th start of the season and 2nd since May 5th. Despite pitching well against the M’s his last time out, Clay took the L, allowing 2 runs on 3H over 6IP. The Blue Jays would love a repeat performance.

 

Valdez: 4-6, 5.14ERA, 4.82FIP, 1.53WHIP, 5.0BB/9, and 8.5K/9

 

The 25-yr-old struggles with the free pass and will give up his share of long fly balls. He is 1-5 with a 7.25ERA on the road, walking 19 and striking out 20 over 22.1IP (10G, 2 starts). He spent the last month with the Astros Triple-A affiliate, recalled on the 25th of August. He struck out 8, walked 5 and allowed one run on two hits over 6 innings earning the W. His last W came on June 15th against our Toronto Blue Jays. Framber held the Blue Jays to 2 runs over 6IP, striking out 8 and walking 2.

 

Sunday, September 1st, 1:07 pm start

Wilmer Font (TOR) vs RHP Justin Verlander (HOU)

 

Font: (Toronto) 1-1, 2.70ERA, 2.40FIP, 1.07WHIP, 2.3BB/9, and 12.7K/9.

 

The 29-yr-old should open a game in this series. Why not this one? It appears, moving forward, that Font will play the role of Opener. Font will take the mound every 3 or 4 days, giving Toronto one to two innings each time out. Font has pitched much better at home with a 2-1 record and 3.06ERA in 20 games. In August, Wilmer owns a 1.76ERA in 8 games, 15.1IP, walking 5 and striking out 24 batters.

 

Verlander: 16-5, 2.69ERA, 3.55FIP, 0.80WHIP, 1.7BB/9, and 11.9K/9

 

Verlander is closing in on 450 starts over his career. He has amassed a 69.1WAR with 220 wins. Thankfully, Toronto missed Verlander in June; unfortunately, Toronto will not miss him this time around. In his previous start, the 36-yr-old snapped a string of 7 games where he struck out 10 or more batters by striking out just 4 batters. Verlander has walked just 3 batters in 32.1IP over 5 starts.

 

More About the Astros

The M’s have a .275BA (2nd) with a .842OPS (1st). Houston has hit 229HR (4th), 22 triples (13th), and 271 doubles (3rd). The Astros have 52SB (18th) while owning a .352OBP (1st) and walking 526 (1st). Lastly, Houston does not strike out a lot, 963 times (lowest in ML) to be exact.

 

On the mound, Seattle owns a 3.72ERA (4th), surrendering 198HR (8th), 543 runs (28th). Opponents are batting .223 (1st) with a 1.15WHIP (2nd) off the Astros’ pitching staff.

 

Alex Bregman continues to put up MVP type numbers with a .406BA, 14 2B, 1 3B, 6HR, and 28RBI over his last 25 games. Michael Brantley (.365BA, 11 2B, 1 3B, 3HR in 24GP), Yuli Gurriel (.344BA, 10 2B, 7HR, 30RBI in 25GP), and Yordan Alverez (.312BA, 8 2B, 9HR, 26RBI in 26GP) have also contributed to the Astros success in August…..all season really.

 

Roberto Osuna converted 7-of-8 opportunities in August. He has a 5.00ERA, with 2HRA, 2BB, 10K, and a .194Opp BA over his last 9.0IP (10G). Aaron Sanchez is on the 10-Day IL (August 21st) with a right pec soreness. Joe Biagini spent some time in Triple-A (August 14th to 22nd) but pitched a nail-biting scoreless inning on August 27th, allowing 2 hits and a walk.

 

Prediction: The Blue Jays will be lucky to take one from the surging Houston Astros. This could be an ugly series if the Jays pitching doesn’t show up. Watch Vlad and Bo face off against Verlander in GM3 will be the highlight of this series. Also, I’d love to see Toronto tee off against Osuna.

 

 

 

 


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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.