Game Threat: Jays (64-49) vs. Rays (45-66)

Marco Estrada
Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Estrada said, after his last start, that his back felt better than it had in some time, even if it likely wasn’t quite at 100%. That’s good! And now he’s had a little bit of a rest, with the Jays since having moved to a six-man rotation. Aaaand he gets to face the lowly Rays tonight, too.

What’s even better, though, is that it’s no longer entirely up to starters like Estrada to do the heavy lifting on the pitching side for the Jays. Don’t look now, but here are four names that appear in the top 15 of 173 relief pitchers in terms of win probability added (WPA) since the All-Star break: Roberto Osuna, Joe Biagini, Jason Grilli, Joaquin Benoit.

Now, obviously the second half of the season isn’t terribly old just yet, and WPA isn’t predictive, but holy shit! And three of those guys (Benoit isn’t) are in the top 25 among second half relievers for context-neutral WPA, too (i.e. WPA/LI).

So… that’s something!

Let’s keep it rolling, boys…

Scuttlebutt

The Jays have finally ended the Franklin Morales experiment, giving the lefty reliever his release after an injury-plagued, ineffective wet fart of a campaign. Meh.

TV: Sportsnet
Next Game(s): Tomorrow vs. Tampa Bay, 7:07 PM ET
AL East Standings: BAL (-), TOR (-), BOS (2.5), NYY (7), TBR (18.0)
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Devon Travis(R) 2B
Jose Bautista(R) RF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Edwin Encarnacion(R) DH
Russell Martin(R) C
Troy Tulowitzki(R) SS
Michael Saunders(L) LF
Justin Smoak(S) 1B
Melvin Upton Jr.(R) CF
Marco Estrada RHP

Tampa Bay Rays

Logan Forsythe(R) 2B
Kevin Kiermaier(L) CF
Evan Longoria(R) 3B
Brad Miller(L) 1B
Mikie Mahtook(R) LF
Corey Dickerson(L) DH
Steven Souza(R) RF
Tim Beckham(R) SS
Luke Maile(R) C
Drew Smyly LHP