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GDB 50.0: Rookies draw in as Toronto Blue Jays play series penultimate game with Tampa Bay Rays

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Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
I sure hope you didn’t listen to me yesterday and actually watched the game, because boy — that was fun.
The Toronto Blue Jays racked up 20 runs in what was nothing short of a cathartic experience against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Today, the Jays will certainly be in tougher squaring off against ace Shane McClanahan, who has a shiny 7-0 record so far this season, but that’s not to say the Jays can’t get to him. In his career, McClanahan has a 3-2 record against the Jays and a 2.65 ERA across 37.1 IP. On Sept. 25 last year, the Jays put four earned runs on the board against McClanahan chasing him after 5.0 IP.
Toronto will also be looking to repeat that kind of performance while having some new faces in the lineup as rookies Ernie Clement and Nathan Lukes will draw into the lineup at second base and right field, respectively.
Lukes, a lefty, has appeared in 15 games with the Jays this year and in nine plate appearances has two hits and two walks. Last year in Buffalo, Lukes hit much better against lefties (.333/.417/.465, .882 OPS) than against righties (.238/.344/.411, .755 OPS), so it’s an interesting choice to have him in the lineup tonight.
Clement, who technically isn’t a rookie after spending two years in the bigs with Cleveland and Oakland, has been lighting it up in Buffalo this spring slashing .328/.409/.512 with a .921 OPS.
Let’s see if they can round things out for the Jays, and if the team can build off yesterday’s great performance.
First pitch: 6:40 p.m. EST
Weather: None! The Jays are at the Trop.
Toronto Blue Jays: 26-22, 8.5 GB, 2.0 WCGB, +24 DIFF.
Tampa Bay Rays: 35-15, – GB, – WCGB. +107 DIFF.
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR +157; TBR -189.
Starting pitchers:
TOR: Yusei Kikuchi LHP — 5-1, 4.08 ERA, 5.63 FIP, 1.317 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 0.3 WAR.
TBR: Shane McClanahan LHP — 7-0, 2.05 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 1.193 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 1.9 WAR.
Lineups: 
Toronto
  1. G Springer (R) DH
  2. B Bichette (R) SS
  3. V Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
  4. M Chapman (R) 3B
  5. W Merrifield (R) LF
  6. D Jansen (R) C
  7. D Varsho (L) CF
  8. E Clement (R) 2B
  9. N Lukes (L) RF
Tampa
TBA

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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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