Orioles-Blue Jays series preview: The final series between AL East bottom dwellers

Orioles-Blue Jays series preview: The final series between AL East bottom dwellers

It was just two years ago that the Orioles and Blue Jays were on their respective ways to meeting each other in the wild card game. Now both teams are playing out the string on bad seasons and are in rebuilding mode. The Toronto Blue Jays make their final trip to Camden Yards to begin a three-game series tonight at 7:05.

The Orioles just lost two of three games to the Chicago White Sox and have lost eight of their last 10 games. But they won yesterday behind an eight-run offensive outburst and a bullpen that didn’t allow a run in 4.2 innings of work. Toronto enters this series with a record of 67-82 and have lost six of their last ten. They are coming south from New York where they took two of three games from the Yankees.

The season series between these two clubs has been awfully lopsided. The Orioles have won just four out of the 16 meetings. Amazingly, that winning percentage of .250 is better than they’ve fared against eight other teams this season. Yes, 2018 has been rough.

The Orioles’ pitching situation is in flux entering this series, as Dylan Bundy is the only confirmed starter. Injuries have decimated the O’s rotation and Wednesday’s starter is a complete mystery at this point.

Game 1: Monday, 7:05

TBD vs. Ryan Borucki (3-4, 4.26)

Buck Showalter was expected to announce tonight’s starter after yesterday’s game, but he didn’t. He did say that it will be a “bullpen game” without indicating who the opener would be. Buck said he would choose between three starters, and beat reporters are expecting it to be Donnie Hart, Evan Phillips, or Sean Gilmartin. As Dan Connolly notes, this isn’t being done out of strategy like we have seen Tampa Bay and Oakland do. It is because injuries have taken a toll on the rotation and this is the only option. We can be thankful for expanded rosters.

Ryan Borucki is having a solid rookie campaign for the Jays. He has accumulated a WAR of 0.8 through 76 innings pitched despite posting a WHIP of 1.42. Borucki seems to be, understandably, tiring as he reaches the end of his rookie season. His ERA was 2.30 after his first August start. A little over a month later, it is over two runs higher. With that said, he is coming off a nice start against Boston where he allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings.

Borucki’s only appearance against the Orioles came on August 29. The O’s won that game because Borucki allowed five runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings. Trey Mancini and Adam Jones homered off of him. Let’s hope Jones plays tonight!

Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05

Dylan Bundy (8-14, 5.48) vs. Aaron Sanchez (4-6, 4.90)

This is a matchup of two young, talented pitchers whose numbers should look a lot better. Bundy’s season has been one of the biggest disappointments for the 2018 Orioles. As we all know, he’s giving up home runs at an alarming rate. He’s allowed 38 this season and has given up at least one in every start he’s made since the beginning of July. Bundy is coming off a very good outing against Oakland. He allowed two earned runs and struck out eight in six innings. That is a performance to build on.

This will be Bundy’s fourth start against the Jays this season. Toronto hasn’t been kind to him thus far. He is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA. Despite those horrid numbers, his WHIP of 1.38 against them is better than his overall WHIP. Five current Jays have hit home runs off of Bundy in their careers. Aledmys Diaz has two in only six at bats. Kendrys Morales has five hits in sixteen at bats including a home run.

Aaron Sanchez has made four starts since being activated from the disabled list. He’s had a disappointing season overall, but his last two outings have been very good. Most recently he held the Red Sox to one run over seven innings. His K/9 of 7.6 would be a career best for him.

Sanchez has won one of his two starts against Baltimore this season and has a 1.88 ERA in those two games. He has pitched very well in Camden Yards over his career; his ERA there is 3.16 in 37 innings. Chris Davis has owned Sanchez over his career, hitting 3.48 with four home runs. Adam Jones, on the other hand, is only hitting .097 in 31 at bats.

Game 3: Wednesday, 7:05

Both teams are listing Wednesday’s starters as TBD. It would be Luis Ortiz’s turn in the rotation, but Buck Showalter said that we aren’t likely to see him anytime soon after tweaking his hamstring on Friday night. Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner could be possibilities depending on how their injuries are progressing. As Steve Melewski indicated, John Means needs to be added to the 40-man roster this winter and could be a candidate to make a start down the stretch. The last option is another bullpen game.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Blue Jays?

  • 17%
    0 (The Orioles get swept)

    (21 votes)

  • 55%
    1

    (67 votes)

  • 20%
    2

    (25 votes)

  • 5%
    3 (The Orioles sweep)

    (7 votes)

120 votes total Vote Now

Blue Jays hang on for thin win over Yankees

Blue Jays hang on for thin win over Yankees

New York: CC Sabathia got clocked early and the New York Yankees, despite hitting four home runs during a furious rally, kept wobbling toward a play-off spot on Saturday with an 8-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer with the Yankees down 5-0 in the sixth inning.

It was 8-1 in the seventh before Gregorius and Giancarlo Stanton homered and Miguel Andujar launched a grand slam.

New York began the day with a one-game lead over Oakland for the top AL wild-card slot.

The Yankees are just 6-7 this month.

Randal Grichuk hit two homers and doubled, and Kevin Pillar also connected as Toronto ended a four-game losing streak.

Fantasy Baseball: Two-start pitcher rankings for Week 26 peg Joe Musgrove, Tyler Glasnow as sleepers

Fantasy Baseball: Two-start pitcher rankings for Week 26 peg Joe Musgrove, Tyler Glasnow as sleepers

The waiver wire offers some surprisingly useful two-start options for Week 26 (Sept. 17-23) as we continue with the week-to-week crapshoot that is forecasting pitching matchups during September roster expansion.

They won’t all end up being two-start options, of course. In fact, several will lose that status before the weekend is through, which is why I’ll be back updating this list Sunday afternoon.

Case in point: I already have it on good authority that Felix Pena won’t be making two starts in Week 26, despite what you may have seen, so I haven’t included him here (as much as I’d like to). Who have I included? Joe Musgrove, Tyler Glasnow and Brad Keller. Those are the big three, the ones who are both highly available and performing well enough that you won’t hate yourself for starting them if they end up making only one start. That’s an important consideration this time of year.

So how cautiously do you want to play it? I feel pretty good about using any of the top 16 on this list, going by the what-if-he-makes-only-one-start standard, but if you’re playing from behind and have to make your own luck, each of the next five — Wade Miley, Aaron Sanchez, Nick Pivetta, Andrew Suarez and Ryan Borucki — has special matchups and enough upside to make the most of them even if it’s a lower-probability play.

Two-start pitchers for Week 26
Rank Pitcher Start 1 Start 2
1 Aaron Nola, PHI vs. NYM at ATL
2 Blake Snell, TB at TEX at TOR
3 Patrick Corbin, ARI vs. CHC vs. COL
4 Corey Kluber, CLE vs. CHW vs. BOS
5 Stephen Strasburg, WAS at MIA vs. NYM
6 Zack Wheeler, NYM at PHI at WAS
7 Mike Foltynewicz, ATL vs. STL vs. PHI
8 Miles Mikolas, STL at ATL vs. SF
9 J.A. Happ, NYY vs. BOS vs. BAL
10 Jon Gray, COL at LAD at ARI
11 Joe Musgrove, PIT* vs. KC vs. MIL
12 Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD vs. COL vs. SD
13 Tyler Glasnow, TB* at TEX at TOR
14 Kyle Hendricks, CHC at ARI at CHW
15 Brad Keller, KC* at PIT at DET
16 Anibal Sanchez, ATL* vs. STL vs. PHI
17 Wade Miley, MIL vs. CIN at PIT
18 Aaron Sanchez, TOR at BAL vs. TB
19 Nick Pivetta, PHI vs. NYM at ATL
20 Andrew Suarez, SF at SD at STL
21 Ryan Borucki, TOR* at BAL vs. TB
22 Wade LeBlanc, SEA* at HOU at TEX
23 Anthony DeSclafani, CIN at MIL at MIA
24 Nathan Eovaldi, BOS at NYY at CLE
25 Framber Valdez, HOU* vs. SEA vs. LAA
26 Jordan Zimmermann, DET vs. MIN vs. KC
27 Jason Vargas, NYM at PHI at WAS
28 Trevor Richards, MIA vs. WAS vs. CIN
29 Daniel Mengden, OAK vs. LAA vs. MIN
30 Daniel Norris, DET vs. MIN vs. KC
31 Tyler Mahle, CIN at MIL at MIA
32 Andrew Cashner, BAL vs. TOR at NYY
33 Bryan Mitchell, SD* vs. SF at LAD
34 Adrian Sampson, TEX vs. TB vs. SEA
35 Dylan Covey, CHW at CLE vs. CHC
36 Kohl Stewart, MIN at DET at OAK

*RP-eligible

Blue Jays OF Grichuk back 2 days after colliding with chair

Blue Jays OF Grichuk back 2 days after colliding with chair

BOSTON (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk is back in the lineup, two days after he crashed face-first into a guard’s metal chair.

Grichuk as starting in right field and batting fifth as the Blue Jays played at Boston on Tuesday night.

Toronto had Monday off, which gave Grichuk a chance to rest and be re-evaluated after leaving Sunday’s game against Cleveland in the fourth inning. He was injured when he slid while catching a foul ball at Toronto. A guard seated near the stands didn’t see Grichuk coming, and was holding a metal stool when the accident occurred.

Concussion tests were negative. Grichuk was left with a bloody nose, swollen left eye socket and a few facial cuts.

“My mom always said I had a hard head. Guess she was right,” Grichuk posted Monday on Twitter.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Jays' Stroman unlikely to start again this season

Jays' Stroman unlikely to start again this season

BOSTON — Marcus Stroman has said he likes to see himself as the horse of a pitching staff.

Well, it looks like this horse will remain in the barn for the remainder of the 2018 season.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said on Tuesday that it’s unlikely Stroman will return to the rotation as he continues to recover from a blister on his throwing hand.

“Probably not. You won’t see him pitch, I would think,” manager John Gibbons said prior to Tuesday’s first of three games vs. the Red Sox. “We’re getting a little far removed from the last time he went on the DL with it.

“You’d have to build back up and I don’t know how smart that would be. For what?”

Stroman isn’t with the team here in Beantown, in part because of the expanded roster crammed into the already tight visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park.  He’s expected to rejoin the team in New York this weekend.

Gibbons said Stroman will continue to throw on the side and attempt to build a callous up on his finger. The right-hander, who took pride in back-to-back 200-plus inning seasons has logged 102.1 this season.