Series Preview: One final road trip

Sadly, this marks the final time this season that the Blue Jays will be heading on a road trip away from the Rogers Centre. Although, the Blue Jays probably wish they had a few more games to play at home before having to hit the road. During the Blue Jays’ latest homestand, they won both of their series against the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Coming into this series against the “Trash Birds”, the Blue Jays have a very good chance to win their third straight series. Since the start of September, the Orioles have won just four of their 15 games and they also own the 3rd-lowest team OPS in the AL as well.

Tuesday at 7:05 ET

This season has certainly had its ups and downs for Trent Thornton through his 28 starts. Pitching out of the bullpen during his latest outing against the Red Sox may have had an impact on Thornton. Although, the 25-year-old credited his impressive outing to the new grip on his curveball.

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During his start against the Red Sox, Thornton entered at the start of the third inning and threw five scoreless innings while also striking out seven of the Red Sox hitters. Thornton was also equally impressive in his start against the Orioles back on July 7. Where he pitched six innings and allowed just three hits and struck out five batters.

The Orioles will be using their 17th different starting pitcher of the season in this game. Chandler Shepherd will be making his first start in the major leagues. The 27-year-old made a pair of appearances out the bullpen for the Orioles earlier this season.

Shepherd has bounced around the minor leagues this season, spending time with the Red Sox, Cubs and now with the trash birds. Through his 12 starts with the Orioles’ triple-A team, Shepherd recorded a 4.46 ERA, 1.300 WHIP along with a .255 OPP AVG. While Shepherd has had his struggles this season, he’s still been to strike batters out at a respectable rate, as he’s created an 8.8 SO/9 through those 12 starts this season.

Wednesday at 7:05 ET

In his first start against his former team, Clay Buchholz struggled to keep the Red Sox’ hitters off the basepaths. Through his four innings of work, Buchholz surrendered four runs on seven hits along with a walk as well. After inducing a total of 14 ground balls in his previous start against the Rays, the 35-year-old failed to keep the ball on the ground in his latest start.

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Buchholz gave up ten fly balls in his start against the Red Sox. Thankfully, none of those balls left the ballpark for home runs. Coming into this game against the trash birds Buchholz shouldn’t have to worry about giving up home runs, as the Orioles have hit the 6th-fewest number of lone balls in the AL this month.

Dylan Bundy has pitched extremely well against the Blue Jays so far this season. Through his two starts against the bluebirds, Bundy has allowed a total of just three runs and eight hits along with creating a combined 13 strikeouts. While Bundy has been dominant against the Blue Jays this season, he has surrendered a pair of home runs against their lineup.

Allowing home runs has been a major problem for Bundy this season, as he currently owns a 1.7 HR/9 and has also given up three home runs over his last three starts. While the Blue Jays’ hitters have hit the 3rd-fewest amount of home runs so far this month, they’ll need to find a way to capitalize on Bundy’s inability to limit the number of balls that leave the park.

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Thursday at 7:05 ET

There’s no question that Anthony Kay has the skill set to remain at the major league level. However, Kay will need to make some key adjustments if he’s going have an impact on the Blue Jays next season. During his first two major league starts, Kay has given up a combined seven runs, eleven hits and four walks through ten innings pitched.

While it’s impressive that the 24-year-old hasn’t allowed a home run over his first two starts in the majors, he’ll still need to work on keeping his pitches out of the middle of the strike zone. In his latest start against the Yankees, Kay was able to create 12 ground balls but only one of those induced a double play. The trash birds have hit into the most double plays in the AL this month, which means Kay should be able to pitch more effectively in this game.

It’s an understatement to say that Aaron Brooks has struggled for the Orioles this season. The 29-year-old has been one of the worst pitchers in the league this season. Through 12 starts with the Orioles this season, Brooks currently owns a 7.11 ERA, 1.697 WHIP, 5.61 FIP and an awful 67 ERA+ as well.

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Despite all the stats mentioned above, Brooks actually recorded a decent outing against the Blue Jays back on Aug. 2. During that start, Brooks went five innings and gave up three runs on five hits along with a home run. Coming into this game, the Blue Jays’ hitters will need to be even more aggressive against Brooks within the first few innings of the game, as he’s surrendered six hits or more in each of his three starts this month.