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Game Threat: Welcome to The House of Horrors! Blue Jays (0-2) @ Rays (2-1)

Interesting that the Blue Jays are playing today, considering their season ended last night after they lost 3-1 to the Orioles and fell to 0-2 on the season. But in all seriousness, the Jays, who’ve gotten off to a flying stop out of the gate, will start a four-game series against the Rays at The Trop tonight. On one hand, the Rays roster doesn’t look very good, so this should be a good way to get on track. On the other, the Jays have a nightmarishly bad time at Tropicana Field. That’s why it’s called The House of Horrors, you know.

News and Scuttlebutt

Some Buffalo Bisons news, as Mike Bolsinger has cleared waivers and will report to the Jays Triple-A club. That’s a great thing, as Bolsinger is the Blue Jays’ best option to be a spot starter at some point in the season if one of the starting pitchers is injured or needs a rest. Also, the Rays DFA’d catcher Luke Maile, and the Jays grabbed him on waivers. He’ll also report to Buffalo, giving the Bisons kind of a logjam of catchers, Mike Ohlman, Juan Graterol, to deal with.

Great news on the injury front, as Roberto Osuna will toss a simulated game in Tampa Bay this weekend. It was assumed when he went on the DL that he would be back before Toronto’s home opener, but there haven’t been any updates yet. The Jays actually have bullpen depth for once, so it’s best they take their time with Osuna.

Blue Jays:

Steve Pearce (R) LF – 85 GP, 232 PA, 13 HR, 35 RBI, .288 AVG, .374 OBP, .492 SLG

Josh Donaldson (R) 3B – 155 GP, 700 PA, 37 HR, 99 RBI, .284 AVG, .404 OBP, .549 SLG

Jose Bautista (R) RF – 116 GP, 517 PA, 22 HR, 69 RBI, .234 AVG, .366 OBP, .452 SLG

Kendrys Morales (S) DH – 154 GP, 618 PA, 30 HR, 93 RBI, .263 AVG, .327 OBP, .795 OPS

Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS – 131 GP, 544 PA, 24 HR, 79 RBI, .254 AVG, .318 OBP, .443 SLG

Russell Martin (R) C – 137 GP, 535 PA, 20 HR, 74 RBI, .231 AVG, .335 OBP, .398 SLG

Justin Smoak (S) 1B – 126 GP, 341 PA, 14 HR, 34 RBI, .217 AVG, .314 OBP, .391 SLG

Kevin Pillar (R) CF – 146 GP, 584 PA, 7 HR, 53 RBI, .266 AVG, .303 OBP, .376 SLG

Darwin Barney (R) 2B – 104 GP, 306 PA, 2 HR, 19 RBI, .269 AVG, .322 OBP, .373 SLG

Marcus Stroman (R) SP – 204 IP, 9-10, 4.37 ERA, 1.289 WHIP, 9.2 H9, 2.4 BB9, 7.2 SO9 

Not the Devil Rays, or a group of people from Tampa Bay named Ray, apparently:

Corey Dickerson (L) DH – 148 GP, 548 PA, 24 HR, 70 RBI, .245 AVG, .293 OBP, .469 SLG

Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF – 105 GP, 414 PA, 12 HR, 37 RBI, .246 AVG, .331 OBP, .410 SLG

Evan Longoria (R) 3B – 160 GP, 685 PA, 36 HR, 90 RBI, .273 AVG, .318 OBP, .521 SLG

Brad Miller (L) 2B – 152 GP, 601 PA, 30 HR, 81 RBI, .243 AVG, .304 OBP, .786 SLG

Steven Souza (R) RF – 120 GP, 468 PA, 17 HR, 49 RBI, .247 AVG, .303 OBP, .409 SLG 

Logan Morrison (L) 1B – 107 GP, 398 PA, 14 HR, 43 RBI, .238 AVG, .319 OBP, .414 SLG

Tim Beckham (R) SS – 64 GP, 215 PA, 5 HR, 16 RBI, .247 AVG, .300 OBP, .434 SLG

Mallex Smith (L) LF – 72 GP, 215 PA, 3 HR, 22 RBI, .286 AVG, .286 OBP, .286 SLG

Jesus Sucre (R) C – 52 GP, 142 PA, 1 HR, 7 RBI, .157 AVG, .195 OBP, .228 SLG

Blake Snell (L) SP – 89 IP, 6-8, 3.54 ERA, 1.618 WHIP, 9.4 H9, 5.2 BB9, 9.9 SO9

Steve Pearce? Batting leadoff?! This is some seriously good stuff! Pearce is basically Barry Bonds against lefty pitching, posting an .853 OPS and 131 wRC+ plus for his career when facing a left-handed pitcher. He’ll be taking Devon Travis’ spot at the top of the order, as the oft-injured second baseman will get a day off because playing on Tampa Bay’s concrete flooring four days in a row isn’t ideal for a guy coming off a knee injury.

Pitching for Tampa is Blake Snell, who broke into the league last season in the wake of the Rays’ injury issues. Snell got himself off to a nice start last year, but kind of cooled down the stretch. Hit biggest issue was control, as he walked a whopping 5.2 batters per nine innings. The Jays faced him twice last season. The first time, they hammered him for five runs (only two earned) in one-and-two-thirds innings in August, the second, he redeemed himself, allowing just one run in six innings of work.

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