It was a tough night for the Jays on Thursday losing 11-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays. That said, they still took the five-game series 3-2 and sit atop the wild card standings with a record of 81-63. Since being swept by the Los Angeles Angels in late August they have now won their last five series, including four and five game sets against the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Orioles had the day off yesterday after completing a quick two game sweep of the Washington Nationals earlier in the week. They have fallen behind in the wild card race going just 7-6 so far in September. They are 4.5 games back of the Rays for the final playoff spot.
Things Worth Mentioning…
Tonight’s game will be broadcasted on AppleTVPlus.
The game is free if you sign in to an Apple account. You don’t need to have a subscription.
Don’t forget to vote for Bo Bichette.
Bo is this year’s nominee from the Blue Jays for the Roberto Clemente award. The Roberto Clemente award is an annual honour given to “the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
Trevor Richards vs. Jordan Lyles
It will be a bullpen day for the Blue Jays tonight with Trevor Richards being used as an opener. He threw 29 pitches in relief in yesterday’s loss so he will likely pitch one inning at most. This will be Richards’ third start this season (all in September). The Jays are 1-1 in games he has started.
Richards allowed five runs and recorded just two outs against the Tampa Bay Rays last night. He has given up nine runs in his last 1.2 innings (three appearances). His ERA is now 5.59 in 56.1 innings this season.
Manager John Schneider has been forced to get creative with his rotation due to a lack of quality arms. Both Mitch White and Yusei Kikuchi failed to secure the job as the team’s fifth starter leaving Schneider no choice but to use a reliever in that spot.
Lyles will be looking for a bounce back performance as he gave up a season-high eight earned runs in his last outing against the Boston Red Sox on September 10th.
He has been a workhorse for the Orioles this year, leading the team in games started (28) and innings pitched (156) but his ERA (4.62) is fifth out of seven Orioles pitchers with double-digit starts.
He is 2-0 against the Jays in two starts this season with six runs allowed in 11 innings.
Jose Berrios vs. Kyle Bradish
September has been good to Berrios thus far. In his two starts this month he has pitched a combined 12.1 innings with an ERA of 2.23. The Jays are 2-0 in those outings, picking up huge wins against the Rays and Orioles.
Berrios has pitched against the Orioles twice this year going 1-0 with the Jays winning both games. His ERA versus the O’s is 3.46, well above his season average of 5.07.
A 26-year-old rookie, Bradish has had mixed results this year. He has a 3-6 record in 19 starts with an ERA of 5.01. In three of his last four starts he has pitched at least seven innings with one earned run or fewer, in the other he was pulled after giving up three runs on six hits in three innings against the Blue Jays.
Saturday will be his fifth start versus Toronto. He is 0-1 in the previous four with an ERA of 7.37 but the Orioles have won three of the four games.
Alek Manoah vs. Dean Kremer
Manoah has been absolutely lights out over his last five starts. In those 35 innings he has allowed only five earned runs for an ERA 1.29. The big righty has proven he can handle the heavy workload and is ready to pitch big games in October. His 177.2 innings pitched this season are second most in the American League.
This will be Manoah’s fifth start against the Orioles this year. The two teams have split the previous four 2-2.
After posting a 7.55 ERA in 13 starts in 2021, Kremer has been a revelation for the Orioles this season. In 18 appearances (17 starts) he has an ERA of 3.34 and leads the Orioles rotation in FIP (3.36) and WAR (2.0) according to Fangraphs.
He is 1-1 in two appearances against the Jays this season with an ERA of 2.98 in 12.1 innings.