Blue Jays open second half against division rival Rays

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Jul 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Drew Hutchison (36) in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1: Friday, July 17th  –  7:07 ET

Drew Hutchison vs. Jake Odorizzi

Hutchison will get his expected start at home in this series, and does the team really have any other option? The tantalizing right-hander has been downright awful on the road, and couldn’t buck that trend in recent starts at Chicago and Detroit.

His 8-2 record should be thrown out the window as some timely run support has saved him from a worse fate more times than we can count, with his ERA sitting at 5.33 and WHIP at 1.49. Perhaps the greatest source of frustration is that the Blue Jays fans and management know that Hutchison has so much more to offer. Perhaps an opportunity to hit the reset button  with a vote of confidence in game one will boost him in the right direction.

Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi recently returned from a DL stint with an oblique injury and didn’t seem rusty. The righty lasted 5.2 innings against the Houston Astros, allowing just two hits and no earned runs. Pairing Odorizzi with Hutchison shows how misleading a pitcher’s record can be, as his moved to 5-5 with the recent win despite an excellent ERA of 2.30 and WHIP of just 1.01.

Next: Game 2: Dickey gets the matinee nod