Series Preview: Blue Jays Have Rangers in Their Crosshairs

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August 22, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada (25) pitches the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3: Marco Estrada (11-7, 3.27 ERA) vs Yovani Gallardo (10-9, 3.25 ERA)

Estrada is pitching like an ace. He is racking up numbers that nobody saw coming. There is nothing in his pedigree that suggested he was going to be a bona fide break out star here in Toronto and yet that is exactly what is unfolding. It seems no one truly wants to believe what is happening but the numbers don’t lie. Here is a small sample. In his last 7 starts his ERA is 2.76 and his WHIP is 0.90.  With a career ERA of 4.04 and a career WHIP of 1.17 you can see how the doubters were given a longer leash. I don’t see many doubters anymore…heck his BAA of .210 is fourth best in the league. YOWZA!

Too bad for Estrada he is paired up against the best pitcher on the Rangers in Gallardo. Last time he faced the Jays on June 27 in Toronto he went 8 1/3 with no runs and just 3 hits allowed. He has had a few games where he lost it a bit but no pitcher is ever perfect 34 games out of the year. Gallardo has a running fastball that bites and his off-speed stuff is a step above what it has been in years past. It seems 2015 is the year he has been able to put it all together and become the front end starter he was envisioned to be when he was drafted in the 2nd round out of high school by the Miwaukee Brewers. With him , Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish at the front of this rotation in 2016 the Rangers are a hitter or 2 away from wrestling the AL West away from the Astros.

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