Previewing the Toronto Blue Jays | The Process Report

Previewing the Toronto Blue Jays

Better late than never is something people say. For some reason this is a two game series so this will be old news tomorrow, but enjoy the present. It’s where we live. Here’s the hitters:

(all data covers the last 30 days, also note that Daniel Robertson has been left out due to complications from the other Daniel Robertson)

Both teams are essentially the same in aggregate offensive production, but the Jays get there by striking out a whole lot less without giving up any of the walk. The Rays do have the edge in explosiveness on balls in play, and actually rank second in the league in that regard.

Justin Smoak has been far and away their best hitter, though Donaldson, Bautista and Morales are also quite good. They’re also getting some poor performance from quite a few guys. Goins, Barney and Maile are deplorable, and Tulo hasn’t been much better since getting off the disabled list. Pillar and the injured Coghlan have also been below average, though not quite to the extent of these others.

I don’t see a ton of regression on balls in play coming to their stout sluggers as most are within a reasonable range. Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney, however, looks like guys that are going to start seeing a few more fall in at some point. Let’s get over to the arms:

The Jays hold a slight edge on the hill, but they’re pretty close. Both teams allow similar expected contact on balls in play at a little worse than average, but make up for it with oodles of strikeouts. The differentiator is that Toronto does a bit better of a job averting the walk.

Those team totals refer to an entire staff, though, and in a short series like this the Rays are only going to face Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano. By far, their two worst starters. Missing Stroman and Biagini is great news for the Rays, but the Jays also sport a top-heavy pen that is anchored by Joe Smith‘s crazy ass. Leone, Osuna and Barnes are also very good giving them three high leverage options, and Tepera should be fine for medium. The rest of the guys shouldn’t really see work outside of mop up duty.

The Rays have a good chance to take both games of this series, though Liriano being a lefty could throw a wrench into things. The Rays teed off earlier this year, but went down without a whimper in his second start before getting shellacked again in the third. I don’t envy the guy for having to face this Rays lineup for the fourth time this year, but we’ll know more about which guy shows up in a few hours.

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