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GDB 77.0: Toronto Blue Jays look to beat up on Oakland Athletics as three-game series kicks off

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Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
10 months ago
If there were ever a weekend for the Toronto Blue Jays’ offence to get back on track, it would be during this upcoming three-game set with the Oakland Athletics.
It’s not to say the Blue Jays’ bats have been awful this season. They rank sixth in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage, and 110 OPS+. The problem is their slugging percentage ranks 11th in the league, just a few points ahead of the league average — and on top of that, their 338 runs scored ranks below the league average while they’ve left a staggering 554 runners on base this season.
That last mark has been the real killer for the Jays this season as it ranks well above the rest of the pack. The San Francisco Giants are second with 544, while the Cubs, Phillies, Angels and Athletics have 539, 533, 532 and 531, respectively.
Oakland’s pitching, meanwhile, has been beyond dismal this season allowing a league-high 6.25 runs against per game, well above the next-ranked Rockies, with 5.71, and the Royals, with 5.32. They also rank last in WHIP with a 1.553 mark, a number the Jays need to take advantage of this weekend.
Oakland is sending James Kaprielian out on the mound tonight who has allowed a 143 OPS+ to opposing batters on the road to go along with a dismal 7.27 road ERA.
All eyes will be on the Blue Jays’ bats tonight.
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. EST
Toronto Blue Jays: 41-35, 10.0 GB, 0.5 WCGB, +9 DIFF.
Oakland Athletics: 19-58, 28.5 GB, 23.0 WCGB, -210 DIFF.
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR -312; OAK +250.
Starting pitchers:
TOR: Chris Bassitt RHP — 7-5, 15 GS, 88.2 IP. 4.16 ERA, 4.99 FIP, 1.195 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 0.0 bWAR.
OAK: James Kaprielian RHP — 2-6, 10 GS, 55.0 IP. 6.38 ERA, 5.29 FIP, 1.636 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, -0.5 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. W Merrifield (R) 2B
  7. D Varsho (L) LF
  8. D Jansen (R) C
  9. K Kiermaier (L) CF
Oakland
  1. T Kemp (L) 2B
  2. R Noda (L) 1B
  3. J Bleday (L) CF
  4. S Brown (L) RF
  5. A Díaz (R) DH
  6. J Peterson (L) 3B
  7. S Langeliers (R) C
  8. T Wade (L) SS
  9. C Capel (L) LF

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 Miami Marlins.

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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