Series Preview: We’re in the Endgame now

The Blue Jays probably don’t even need the upcoming time off with the way they’re crushing the baseball lately. Nevertheless, this three-game series against the “Trash Birds” will conclude the first-half of the season. Coming into this series, the Blue Jays’ hitters have been hotter than any other lineup in baseball since June 16. Since that date, the Blue Jays currently lead the league in home runs. Which is something most fans wouldn’t have thought to be possible after the lack of offense during the first two months of the season.

While the offensive production has been impressive for the Blue Jays, their pitching staff has been the complete opposite. The Blue Jays have scored 105 runs since June 16, but they’ve also given up 105 runs as well. Their pitching staff recorded the worst team-ERA (5.81) in the league this past month. But, the Orioles pitching wasn’t much better during June. As they recorded the 2nd-worst team-ERA in the league.

Friday at 7:07 ET

Aaron Sanchez continues to amaze me with how awful he continues to pitch. His ERA has skyrocketed all the way to 6.31 along with an embarrassing 71 ERA+. In Sanchez’s latest-outing, he went just three innings and gave up seven hits, six runs and four walks against the Royals. Allowing free passes continues to be a massive problem for Sanchez. As he continues to lead the AL in walks.

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However, Sanchez has apparently made some adjustments to his delivery coming into this start. The command of his fastball has been his biggest issue so far this season. So hopefully along with the adjustments he’s made, and a start against the Orioles, we’ll finally get the Sanchez we remember from 2016.

Dylan Bundy comes into this start extremely rested. The 26-year-old is starting this game on eight days of rest. So Bundy is likely going to look a little rusty during the first few innings of the game. It’ll be hard to say if rust will be the cause of Bundy getting pounded in this game, or it’ll be just what he’s been accustomed to this season.

The 4th-overall pick from 2011 comes into this start with a 4.91 ERA and 1.340 WHIP. Bundy also comes into this start having allowed six home runs over his last five starts. With the way the Blue Jays are hitting home runs lately, Bundy won’t be in this game very long if he can’t keep the ball from leaving the yard.

Saturday at 3:07 ET

Clayton Richard continues to provide length for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have to be happy with what they’ve gotten out of Richard up to this point in the season. While he has given up six hits or more in each of his last five starts, he’s also been able to pitch six innings in back-to-back starts.

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While it was against the Royals, Richard is coming off of his best-start of the season. Richard went six innings and was able to hold the Royals to three runs and just one walk, while also tying his season-high of four strikeouts. A start against these Trash Birds should provide Richard with a great opportunity to record back-to-back quality starts.

Andrew Cashner is coming off one of his best-performances this past month. The 32-year-old who’s beard is the same colour as the Orioles logo recorded an impressive 1.44 ERA and 0.800 WHIP through his four starts in June. Cashner is also coming off his best-start of the season.

He threw seven scoreless-innings against the Indians and recorded six strikeouts. Cashner finished June without surrendering a single home run. The long ball is something the Blue Jays’ hitters have lived on recently. So they may have to manufacture their runs to be successful in this game.

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Sunday at 1:07 ET

Trent Thornton was apparently tipping his pitches in his latest-outing against the Red Sox. Which could have definitely been the cause for the eleven hits and seven runs that Thornton gave up in just two and 2/3 innings. It seems very likely that teams around the league have started to notice this as well.

As Thornton has surrendered a combined 26 hits and 14 runs over his last three starts. The Blue Jays coaches and Thornton have reportedly looked over hours of footage to try and fix Thornton’s delivery. So hopefully Thornton is able to record better results against the worst-team in the league.

Gabriel Ynoa was smacked around for seven hits and a pair of home runs when he faced the Blue Jays last month. Since then, Ynoa has been pounded for a combined 14 runs and four home runs over his last three starts. So it’s probably safe to say that he won’t be holding the Blue Jays scoreless in this game.

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The Blue Jays will probably want to save some of their offense for the second-half of the season. But, I don’t think it would surprise anyone to see the Blue Jays score double-digits in their final game before the all-star break.