GDB 71.0: Blue Jays seek a series win against the Guardians

Another series, another rubber match for the Toronto Blue Jays.

In four of their last five series, the Blue Jays have played in a three-game series, with the third game being the rubber match. In that time, they are 2-1 in rubber matches, along with a series split against the Orioles. On Sunday, the Jays will have a chance to go to 3-1 in rubber matches in their last four three-game series.

For the first time in the big leagues, Addison Barger, Spencer Horwitz, and Davis Schneider will start in the lineup in the same game. Since joining the Jays in early June, Horwitz is slashing .348/.423/.391 with a double in 26 plate appearances, and has firmly cemented himself in the lead-off spot or the two-hole.

Speaking of the two-hole, Davis Schneider will get the start there, only his second of the season. He’ll also start in left field, where he’s slashing .211/.314/.429 with seven homers in 156 plate appearances. At second, he has 69 plate appearances with a .267/.348/.417 slash line and one homer, but has a higher wRC+ when he plays second (121) compared to left field (114).

Barger returned to the Blue Jays lineup on Saturday for the first time since May 1. He notched his second career hit and drove in his first RBI, and walked for the first time. In just one game, Barger’s wRC+ rose from -76 to -33, which is still not great, but an improvement. Hopefully, he can keep the good times rolling.

One player who has kept the good times rolling is catcher Alejandro Kirk. The 25-year-old catcher’s struggles have been well documented since a hot streak in 2022, but since April 14, he’s slashing .262/.346/.415 with two homers in 78 plate appearances for a 118 wRC+. Moreover, he’s hitting deep flyouts far more often. It reminds me of Danny Jansen in 2021, and we know how that went.


First Pitch: 1:37 PMET

TV & Radio: Sportsnet, SN 590

Starting Pitchers

Toronto – José Berríos: 14 GS, 5-5 record, 2.93 ERA, 86 IP, 64 SO, 22 BB, 13 HR

Cleveland – Ben Lively: 10 GS, 6-2 record, 2.59 ERA, 55.2 IP, 48 SO, 15 BB, 7 HR

Lineups

Blue Jays:

  • Spencer Horwitz 2B
  • Davis Schneider LF
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B
  • Daulton Varsho CF
  • George Springer DH
  • Alejandro Kirk C
  • Addison Barger RF
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
  • Ernie Clement 3B

Guardians

  • Steven Kwan LF
  • Tyler Freeman CF
  • Andrés Giménez 2B
  • Josh Naylor 1B
  • Will Brennan RF
  • Kyle Manzardo DH
  • Daniel Schneemann 3B
  • Brayan Rocchio SS
  • Bo Naylor C

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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Title: GDB 71.0: Blue Jays seek a series win against the Guardians
Author: Ryley Delaney

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