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GDB 5.0: The Yusei Kikuchi Revenge Tour begins as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Kansas City Royals

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Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The Toronto Blue Jays look to hit the reset button tonight in a battle of two lefites on the mound.
Things have been far from ideal to start the year for the Jays as they stare down the barrel of a 1-3 record. They managed to mount a comeback to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in game one of the season, but things have fallen off the rails since then. Kevin Gausman kept game two tight but is still the unluckiest man in the world. Chris Bassitt got lit up in game three, and then Jose Berrios showed his belly yesterday in game one against the Royals.
Yeah, not great. Tonight’s a great chance for the Jays as a whole to get themselves back on track.
But the truth of the matter is this is a long season, and tonight, the Yusei Kikuchi revenge tour begins. For the most part he’s struggled in his four seasons of action in the bigs, but this spring training was just… different for Kikuchi. He started six games going 2-1 while posting a 0.87 ERA and 0.919 WHIP. His 3.9 H/9 was far below his career average of 9.1. He didn’t allow a single home run, and while his BB/9 were up from his career average of 3.7 to 4.4, it’s still below the 5.2 he posted last season. His stuff looked tremendous and heading into this season his potential rebound is absolutely one of the biggest stories around right now.
First pitch: 7:40 p.m. EST
Weather: 27C. 25 MPH S winds. “A big storm or two will pop late. Models show that it would likely be coming after the game, and holding south regardless… but I’m keeping at least a low-end chance of a late delay in case on ends up on the ballpark. More notable is the nice hitting weather, winds out to left at a whopping 25mph on a warm day is nice weather for bats.” (RotoGrinders)
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR -167; KCR +142.
O/U: 10.5 — o10.5 +102; u10.5 -125.
The Jays come in as pretty heavy favourites and the books are expecting a lot of offence tonight. Their implied team total of 5.6 is highest on the slate with 96 percent of public money coming in on the over.
Starting pitchers:
TOR: Yusei Kikuchi, LHP — 0-0, -.- ERA, -.- WHIP.
STL: Kris Bubic, LHP — 0-0, -.- ERA, -.- WHIP.
Lineups: 
Really like this lineup tonight from the Jays. Alejandro Kirk gets the night off and we’ll see Danny Jansen batting seventh. Notably, Matt Chapman slides up the lineup into the clean up slot and should be able to have a field day tonight
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Yusei Kikuchi Revenge Tour kicks off win him posting a quality start in a win.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The offence does their part driving in seven runs.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Matt Chapman dinger.

Need to bide the time until first pitch?

Tune into the latest edition of Blue Jays Nation Radio as the crew talks about the season-opening series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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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