Preview of The Wild Card Series: Blue Jays vs. Mariners


Bo Bechet
John E. Sokolowski – USA TODAY Sports

While the post-season drought of more than two decades is over, so too is the celebration in Seattle, as the Mariners travel to the other side of the continent to take on the battle-tested struggling Blue Jays, who have knocked out baseball’s top teams as the top card wild.

Toronto’s serious lineup from top to bottom, stacked with rectangular names containing thirteen All-Star appearances (George Springer He has four of his own, Matt Chapman Somehow he only has one). The group was the fifth lowest strike rate In baseball during the regular season, she ranked third in running, and was second only to the Dodgers in wRC Team +. except Rimmel Tapia And the Wait Merryfieldevery member of Blue Jays’ regular starting line-up has been posted a wRC + over 100 In season, Merryfield closed the season on a .361/.385/.639 heater. if Lourdes Gurriel Jr.‘s hamstring Healed in time to be included in the squad, it’s an easy offensive upgrade for Tapia, although he may not have his timing right away due to his lack of bats.

While the Toronto lineup has undeniable star power, it may have an unexpected flaw at its core. While his season overall has been very good, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The ice is cold now. During the last month of the season He cut a paltry .235/.290/.390 and suffered from tablet discipline. Vladi’s September chase rate (40%) was a full ten percentage points higher than his career benchmark (31%), as he struggled to haul skaters off and off the board. two pitch Ruby Ray He must be a great match for Vlad, as he doesn’t have a secondary ground that strays away from the right-hitters apart from an unfamiliar change. But the sailors have imitation weapons perfectly suited to exploit his recent problems in Ben MurphyAnd the Diego CastilloAnd the Matt Brash, who all have sliders that end in a place that Guerrero doesn’t seem to get to now. Strike Guys Shortstop Bo Bechet It was reverse polarity, second only to Aaron Judge In WAR since the calendar flipped to September, dropping .405/.443/.664 and hitting 19 extra basestrokes during that time and entering play after season as one of the most dangerous hitters on the planet.

Since this is a series of three games, teams can leave one or two players off the roster and complete a bench or bowl game. Depending on how Gurriel and the top escort man Santiago Espinal After returning from injury, Jays manager John Schneider may have several different levers available to him throughout the match. If the Hammery Gurriel is still soft, he can turn to one of the hard hitters on the list (Tapia, Jackie Bradley Jr.And the Bradley Zimmer). While Gurriel has an incredible arm, Zimmer and Bradley are convenient defensive upgrades at outer corner points from a range point of view. Toronto’s ability to hold three good fishermen (Alejandro KirkAnd the Danny Janssenand the most prominent potential clients Gabriel Moreno) also for Schneider to be outwardly aggressive in running to that group. Murrayfield has played second base and all three outside positions since joining Toronto, although he will be a consistent cornerstone unless Espinal is in good health. All this variety allows Blue Jays to play matches in key locations with ease, especially if both Gurriel and Espinal are healthy enough to play.

With the start of the game 1 Alek Manoh And the Kevin Gussman (Fifth among bowlers in the war this year) Topping their rotation, the Blue Jays have two junior players who can stand toe to toe with any other baseball player. Both Manoah’s slider and Gausman’s dealer are among the most sinister pitches in baseball, with Gausman throwing the split more than any other player in the league.

Is Toronto’s Bullpen good enough for a deep ride? closer Jordan Romano Passed the delayed smell test, the graceful Adam Semper It is an excellent and confusing “appearance” diluent. The rest of the bowling is good, but not typical for the opposing team. Toronto is in the lower third of baseball in fast ball speed and contact rate and in the middle of the pack in strike rate. The group, as a whole, throws hits (for all the other average stats, they’re the top five in bull walking rate, and the shooting staff as a whole is third), but Jays have only one left-handed to call (upper Percumen). Tim Maze) I leaned hard Yemi Garciawhich is more of a middle-stroke type with lower leverage at this point. Nate Pearsonwho would have the second best in this Bullpen, looms large in Dunedin, having come off a back-body injury and mononucleosis, having appeared in just eight Triple-A matches since his comeback.

Seattle finished near the middle of the group in most offensive categories, but as a group, you control the strike zone as well as any team in baseball. 2nd place in the major championships walking rate And the 3rd best in O-Swing%, the Sailors were still average in OBP because they had so many low-hitting players. Only three of their hitters have finished above 0.240 on the season: a sunny young star Julio Rodriguezcommunication/power machine Ty France (who, ironically, has the most aggressive approach on the team), and the gauntlet-oriented Shortstop GB Crawford. Adam Fraser Still a batsman to a plus ball; He’s been running BABIP extraordinarily low this year, bringing his average down. Remember, however, that the Toronto staff are throwing several strikes, which may neutralize the most extraordinary (and perhaps the only) feature of the Seattle crime. Eugenio SuarezAnd the Cal Rally And the Carlos Santana They are serious hitters despite their low hitting averages, and they all have a penchant for the dramatic, but Toronto’s penchant for avoiding walks makes Seattle unlikely to score huge runs. I think it’s fair to say that Seattle’s offensive (and defense, apart from Crawford v Bechet) is inferior to Toronto’s.

Postseason sailors get in a little mess. Defender Jesse Winker He was put on IL in the middle of the week with discomfort in his neck. In addition, the thigh strain will maintain the speed, the ignition switch Sam Hagerty From seeing the field during the post-season. This makes the prodigal sons Taylor Trammell And the Jared Kielnik, the latter referred to major companies on September 22, which is especially important for Seattle’s October push. as such Hinge By Esteban Rivera, Kelenic was struggling hard against broken balls (even those that ended up at the bottom of the strike zone rather than under it) early in the year and made some adjustments to try to tackle that during the landing in Triple-A. Whether they actually make a difference or if the bottom half is too tough for him to hit those pitches is still up for debate. In the meantime, Trammell will take on the difficult tasks of Hagerti.

Two from the beginning of the game 1 Luis CastilloThe last three rounds during the regular season were clunkers, with eighteen starting players and nine runs allowed across just ten rounds against Oakland and Kansas City. the movement on his stuff deviated from the norm In both of those outings, but he was closer to baseline on his last start to the year, where he stands out again. If any of the newbies in Seattle had a chance to seal off the mighty Jays lineup, it was Castillo, changing all the world and his massive arm strength.

Seattle’s spinning depth on the Wild Card Tour has been lost just two years ago George KirbyAnd the Logan GilbertRay could start behind Castillo. M is better suited to a series of five or seven games, where they can take advantage of starting depth. However, Bullpen is dynamic, more typical of a playoff club than a Toronto club. Chris Flexen And a brush can provide length, which is a castillo, Andres MuñozAnd the Paul Swald They all have late objects and/or a huge presence on the hill. Eric SwansonThe splitting device gives sailors another de facto power to pair up with a local man Matthew Boyd, because it neutralizes the hitters from the other side. Even if things go wrong early in the game, the Mariners have the chops to throw baking soda on the grease fire without taxing the bulls so much that it affects them later in the series or the next.

The way Seattle’s intercontinental travel and relative post-season inexperience interact with their performance, will likely vary from player to player. You will likely be completely excluded from the pomp and circumstances surrounding the games at home, which will allow the team to focus on baseball in a way that is beneficial to some, although others may have gotten a boost from playoff energy on their home ground. Some players will be comfortable with this moment (everything seems so free and easy for Rodriguez, and I bet Sewald can channel the stress of late-play situations into useful juice), others may take a while to adjust or not get there. Everyone (Kelenic wears a constant frown for what appears to be self-loathing). But I have no soul to read of little sailors, and neither do you; This is one of those things that is impossible to know until it happens. We’ll start learning on Friday.


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