Series Preview: A key series for the Tank Effort

Currently, nothing feels worse right now for the city of Toronto. As they just missed out on their opportunity to win a championship in sport that has never been won north of the border before. But, the news gets even worse for the Toronto sports world.

The Blue Jays have been the worst-team in the entire league since May 27. Since that date, this team has been swept in three of their last four series. The Blue Jays have also lost ten of their last twelve games, and currently sit just three wins above the Orioles, or as we call them here,”The Trash Birds”.

Now it’s also not like the Orioles are coming into this three-game series doing much better than the Blue Jays. They have lost eight of their last eleven games, and this team has been held to two runs or fewer in seven of their last eleven games as well. While their isn’t much to get excited about for this series, at least these two teams will be able to battle it out for the worse record in the entire league.

Tuesday at 7:05 ET

This will be Trent Thornton’s first-opportunity to face the Trash Birds in his rookie season. What we’ve learned about Thornton so far this season, is that he struggles with the command of his pitches. This has been a glaring problem for the 25-year-old all season-long. Not being able to find the strike zone was something that really hindered Thornton from earning his second-win of the season last time out against the Yankees.

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Thornton threw 92 pitches and went five-innings surrendering four runs on five hits and three walks. The 37 pitches for balls were the cause for the poor outing for Thornton. Fortunately, the Orioles aren’t a patient team at the plate. They currently have recorded the 2nd-fewest amount of walks in the AL so far this month. Which should provide Thornton with a great opportunity to pitch beyond the sixth-inning with fewer than 100 pitches for the first-time since May 19.

John Means has quietly been performing as one of the best-pitchers in the AL over the last month-plus. The 26-year-old has pitched six-innings or more and has held his opponents to just one run in four of his last six starts. Good pitching coming from the Orioles is very surprising given that their pitching staff has surrendered the most home runs in the entire league this season.

The Blue Jays have produced the 2nd-fewest amount of runs in the AL so far this month. Means creates a ton of weak contact that relates into a lot of weakly hit balls. So along with his ability to keep runs off of the board, this means the Blue Jays will likely find it tough to create much offense in the opener of this series.

Wednesday at 7:05 ET

The Blue Jays are currently facing a serious dilemma when it comes to starting pitching depth at the major-league level. This team seriously debated potentially calling-up one of their young-prospects all the way from double-A. Regardless of the injuries to the pitchers that were brought in this off-season, the Blue Jays lack of quality pitchers at triple-A is being exposed this season.

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That lack of depth once again means that we will be forced to witness another miserable start by Edwin Jackson. It’s obviously clear that Jackson just isn’t capable of pitching at the major-league level anymore. The 35-year-old from Germany has been pounded in everyone of his five-starts this season. Jackson comes into this start with a horrendous 11.90 ERA, 2.237 WHIP and a laughable ERA+ of 38.

David Hess was basically unhittable in his start against the Blue Jays back on April 1. However, Hess hasn’t been able to find any of that same success in his eleven starts since. The 25-year-old has given up four runs or more in nine of those eleven starts.

The long-ball has also been a major problem for Hess this season. Hess has surrendered at least one home run in ten of his eleven games since April 1. The draft selection from 2014 has also given up multiple home runs in five of those eleven starts as well. Hopefully a second-start against the Blue Jays doesn’t result in another offensive drought for the Blue Birds.

Thursday at 7:05 ET

Stro-Show ran into a red-hot Diamondbacks’ lineup in his latest-start. Stroman was hit around the ballpark for seven hits and six runs through five and 2/3 innings. This was the first-time since May 6 that Stroman was charged for more than five runs in a start.

While these aren’t the same Trash Birds from a few seasons ago, Stroman’s career numbers in Baltimore could suggest another rough outing from the 28-year-old. The most-energetic player in the league has been lit up at times in his five starts at Camden Yards. Stroman currently owns a 5.47 ERA and has given up five home runs in his five trips to the Trash Birds home.

For whatever reason the Trash Birds haven’t officially confirmed that Gabriel Ynoa will be starting in the finale of this series. Ynoa lines up in the rotation for this start, and hasn’t sustained any injuries. So Ynoa will start this game unless something comes up from now until Thursday.

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The 26-year-old will be making just his 4th-start of the season, after making nine appearances out of the bullpen earlier this season. Last time out against the Astros, Ynoa was able to limit them to just three hits. But, two of those three hits went beyond the wall for home runs. So while the Blue Jays may struggle to record many hits off of Ynoa, they should be able to take him deep multiple times in this game.