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Series Preview: The Clevelanders!

The Blue Jays will wrap up their road trip in Cleveland this weekend. They’ve had a very successful start to the trip, as they’re 4-2 through Texas and Baltimore. A series win against the Clevelanders would a nice ribbon on a solid trip.

Friday at 7:10 ET

Marcus Stroman has had a couple of rough starts to kick off the 2018 season and currently owns an 8.38 ERA. The issue for Stroman in both outings has been one big inning. He allowed four runs in one inning against the Yankees and it was the same deal over the weekend against the Rangers. The most shocking thing so far, though, has been the fact Stroman has walked eight batters. He’ll go up against Mike Clevinger who’s only given up one run over 12 2/3 inning of work so far this season. Stroman struggled in the cold in Texas on Saturday, which will likely be a factor on Friday night in Cleveland.

Saturday at 4:10 ET

Jaime Garcia has been Toronto’s best starter through the first couple weeks of the season. He shut down the White Sox in his Blue Jays debut and then was solid against Texas in a series-finale win on Sunday. All told, through 11 1/3 innings, Garcia has allowed just four earned runs while striking out 12 and walking just four. He’ll have to be good again because the Jays will be going up against Corey Kluber, Cleveland’s ace. Kluber has, expectedly, been excellent this year. That said, in 2016, the Jays kicked the shit out of him, so, uh, maybe that means something? (It doesn’t)

Sunday at 1:10 ET

Jays Ace Happ will get the start in Sunday’s finale in pursuit of his third win of the season. Happ had some rough-ish outings in his first two starts, but he was damn excellent Baltimore earlier this week. Happ held the O’s to one run over six innings while collecting nine strikeouts. He seems to be finding his groove. Josh Tomlin will go for Cleveland. He made one very, very bad start against the Angels, allowing eight runs in three innings, then he shut out Detroit over five innings his next time out.

Thoughts…

Cleveland is very good. They might be the best team in the American League. It’s either them or Houston. Regardless, these are going to be difficult games for the Jays, but thankfully they’ve beaten up a little bit on Texas and Baltimore so there’s some room for error in a difficult, cold series in Cleveland this weekend. Like I said earlier, winning this one and ultimately going 6-3 on the road trip would be huuuuuuge for getting out ahead of the pack early on in the season.