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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Canada Day Weekend!

Canada Day weekend! It’s time to celebrate our lovely country by hitting up the ballpark, cracking open a cold one, enjoying the hot sun, and watching the Blue Jays play four games against a team equally as bad as they are!

Friday at 7:07 ET

OLD FRIEND ALERT!!1 The Tigers are tossing Francisco Liriano out there for the series-opener against Marcus Stroman. Liriano has actually been pretty successful with Detroit so far this season. He owns a 3.94 ERA through 11 starts…. buuuut he’s walking 4.7 batters per nine innings. That’s the same walk rate he had with the Blue Jays last season before being dealt to Houston for Teoscar Hernandez. Stroman made his first start since coming off the disabled list last weekend in Anaheim. He went five innings without allowing a run for his first clean outing of the season.

Saturday at 1:07 ET

OLD FRIEND ALERT!!1 Matt Boyd, probably the best thing Detroit got out of the David Price trade, will start against Sammy G on Saturday afternoon. Boyd got off to a really nice start to his season but the wheels have come off as of late. In his last two outings, Boyd has allowed 11 runs over just seven innings of work. This will be his first start in Toronto since being traded back in 2015. Sammy G has also struggled as of late as he hasn’t cleared five innings in his last three outings.

Sunday at 1:07 ET

Canada Day’s game will be between Jordan Zimmermann, last year’s AL leader in earned runs, and Jays Ace Happ, Toronto’s ace. Zimmermann has been bad since signing with Detroit prior to the 2016 season. This season has probably been his best of the three with the Tigers. His 4.35 ERA through nine starts isn’t pretty, but his 8.5 strikeouts per nine are a massive improvement on the 5.8 and 5.6 strikeouts per nine he had in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Happ, as we know, has been excellent for the Blue Jays, not only this season, but throughout his entire tenure since signing that three-year deal right around when Zimmermann inked his mega deal. That said, there’s a chance this could be Happ’s last start as a Blue Jay. The trade deadline is a month from now, we know the team is selling, and Happ’s bobblehead giveaway is on Monday. I don’t have any actual insight on this, but I have a gut feeling that the Jays are waiting for his bobblehead game to pass before pulling the trigger on a deal. It was a similar deal last year when the team didn’t designate Jason Grilli for assignment until after his BBQ apron giveaway. I don’t know. Maybe I’m overthinking it.

Monday at 1:07 ET

I think the finale of this series will be between Mike Fiers and Ryan Borucki, though the Jays haven’t confirmed if the rookie will be making another start or not. I would imagine he is given the fact his first outing against the Astros was very good. Anyways, Fiers will start for Detroit. He’s been solid this year for Detroit but I have a very vivid memory of the Jays hitting seven bombs off of him over two different starts when he was with Houston last season.