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GDB 66.0: Vladimir Guerrero Jr bats clean up, Trevor Richards starts against Minnesota Twins

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The Toronto Blue Jays are shuffling the deck.
For the 36th time in his 2,169 game career in the big leagues Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be in the cleanup spot in the Jays’ lineup. It marks the first time since April 9th, 2021 that he bats lower than 3rd in the order for the Jays.
Guerrero Jr. has had 150 plate appearances in the cleanup spot in the order slashing .246/.307/.326 with a .633 OPS. His tOPS+ — which looks at a players OPS splits relative to their total OPS — comes in at 51, well below the average line of 100.
It’s an interesting change to the lineup for the Jays that sees Brandon Belt, who has been red hot with a .968 OPS since the start of May, slides up the lineup into the three spot.
The change to the lineup sheet isn’t the only thing of significance as today marks the first day where Alek Manoah isn’t starting in his spot in the rotation. Sent to Dunedin to find his game after a blowup last Monday against the Houston Astros, the Jays will be rolling out Trevor Richards on the mound.
He has been nothing short of electric for the team this season out of the bullpen, but now gets a chance to work as the starter for the team today. There’s been some length in his arm in the past as he’s thrown over five innings 34 times in his career back with the Miami Marlins and a few times with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The deepest Richards has gone in a game for the Jays since they acquired him last season is 3.0 IP on May 25th after Manoah allowed four earned runs off five walks and three hits to the Tampa Bay Rays.
How deep Richards will go in the game today is yet to be seen, but the fact he’s gone deep in the past could mean the Jays try and stretch him to four or five innings today. He also hasn’t made an appearance in a game for four days, so he’s fresh today.
First pitch: 3:10 p.m. EST
Weather: 20C.
Toronto Blue Jays: 36-29, 10.5 GB, 0.5 WCGB, +29 DIFF.
Minnesota Twins: 32-32, – GB, – WCGB, +36 DIFF.
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR -120; MIN +102.
Starting pitchers:
TOR: Trevor Richards RHP — 0-0, 0 GS, 27.0 IP. 3.67 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 1.222 WHIP, 14.0 K/9, 0.2 bWAR.
MIN: Joe Ryan RHP — 7-3, 12 GP, 71.2 IP. 2.76 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 0.949 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 2.0 bWAR.
Lineups: 
Toronto 
  1. G Springer (R) RF
  2. B Bichette (R) SS
  3. B Belt (L) DH
  4. V Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
  5. M Chapman (R) 3B
  6. A Kirk (R) C
  7. W Merrifield (R) LF
  8. D Varsho (L) CF
  9. S Espinal (R) 2B
Minnesota
  1. E Julien (L) 2B
  2. D Solano (R) DH
  3. A Kirilloff (L) 1B
  4. C Correa (R) SS
  5. T Larnach (L) LF
  6. W Castro (S) 3B
  7. M Kepler (L) RF
  8. R Jeffers (R) C
  9. M Taylor (R) CF

Need to bide the time until first pitch?

Tune into the latest edition of Blue Jays Nation Radio as the crew talks about the Jays’ latest series against the Houston Astros.

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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