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GDB 2.0: Toronto Blue Jays baseball returns with Saturday afternoon match against St. Louis Cardinals

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Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
I don’t know about you guys, but yesterday sucked.
Talk about a letdown of a day after what we all got to experience Thursday. I’m based out of Edmonton working out of the Nation Network headquarters, and it was so much fun walking into the office Thursday morning. Multiple people came rolling into the offices and we were comparing our fantasy rosters right off the hop. We got the Yankees – Giants game on and watched Gerrit Cole and Logan Webb do their things. Then, back home for the Jays game where we were all treated to an eventful 3:38 of action. Pitch clock who?
I rolled out of bed yesterday morning and immediately got excited to watch some more day ball only to be let down so, so heavily. We instead got a little five-game slate with none of the AL East teams playing. Alas, morning has come once again and today, well we get some day ball as the Jays take on the St. Louis Cardinals once again for game two of their three-game set. We get out first look at Kevin Gausman and his incredible splitter once again, and I’m fascinated to see how he looks on the mound.
Last year was my first year of following the Jays with any serious intent, and Gausman’s stuff impressed me. That splitter? Holy hell. That’s the good stuff. I was unfortunately a bit too busy to prioritize spring training games this year, so I’m also really curious to see how Gausman fares with the new pitch clock.
It felt like his cadence was always on the longer side, especially with his toe taps, so I’m curious to see how he manages. Honestly, it felt like it was something that was impacting Alek Manoah in game one, even with a full spring training to get used to it. Nonetheless, welcome back to another day of sitting back and watching the beautiful game. Let’s see if the Jays can keep their 162-0 pace up.
First pitch: 2:15 p.m. EST
Weather: 9C. 25 MPH WNW winds. “Winds blowing hard out to right at 25mph sustained with stronger gusts.” (RotoGrinders)
Odds: Blue Jays -130 — Cardinals -+112. O/U: 7.5 — o7.5 -120/u7.5 -102. (via Betano)
Starting pitchers:
TOR: Kevin Gausman, RHP — 0-0, -.- ERA, -.- WHIP.
STL: Jack Flaherty, RHP — 0-0, -.- ERA, -.- WHIP.
Lineups: 
Blue Jays
Cardinals
As I said above, I can’t wait to see what Gausman can put together this year. He had a great season last year for the Jays and posted a career-best 2.38 FIP, but an ERA of 3.35. He also had a career-high 5.7 fWAR and projection models have him anywhere from a 3.5 to 4.3 WAR player this year. If he can keep it up and carry over his stuff from last year — with hopefully some luck in tow — there’s a legitimate chance we hear his name in the Cy Young conversations.
On the other side, the Jays will get a look at rightie Jack Flaherty, who at 27 is entering his seventh season with the Cards. He’s coming off a year that saw him throw just 36 innings amid an injury-plagued season. That’s been a theme throughout his career, however. But 2018 and 2019 were his most productive campaign throwing 151 and 196.1 innings in each year, respectively. In his limited action last year, Flaherty posted a 4.25 ERA, 1.611 WHIP and a 4.97 FIP.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Gausman’s stuff looks great and the Jays come out with a 5-3 victory.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Kevin Gausman goes 5.2 innings allowing two runs or less.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Vladdy goes yard.

Need to bide the time until first pitch?

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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