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Game Threat: First Look At The First Half Champs, Astros (58-27) @ Blue Jays (39-45)

This is that part of the schedule we’d been pointing out for weeks. A four-game series with the Astros to end the first half of the season. If the Jays have a good showing this weekend, it’ll do a lot to restore energy and confidence in the team rolling into the second half. If not, it could really spell the end for 2017.

News and Scuttlebutt

Some interesting stuff from Mark Shapiro’s interview with Scott MacArthur of TSN today. I would recommend giving it a listen if you haven’t already. But the big piece of info is Shapiro essentially saying the Jays haven’t committed to buying or selling, and they could, in fact, do a little of both come late July.

Today

TV: SNET

Radio: SN590

And now, the lineups…

Blue Jays

Francisco Liriano: 5.66 ERA, 62 IP, 9.6 H9, 1.2 HR9, 4.9 BB9, 8.4 SO9 

Astros

Lance McCullers: 2.69 ERA, 87 IP, 7.0 H9, 0.6 HR9, 2.6 BB9, 10.7 SO9 

The Jays will have a difficult test tonight with Lance McCullers. He’s very good, predominantly using a curveball to fool hitters into whiffs and soft contact. The one thing that jumps out about McCullers is the fact he’s allowed almost everything to stay in the park, which doesn’t bode well for Toronto’s homer-happy offence. Francisco Liriano will have to be on his game tonight.