Game 1: Friday, April 22nd – 7:07 p.m. ET
Aaron Sanchez (1-0, 1.35 ERA) vs.
Sonny Gray (2-1, 2.33 ERA)
Friday’s series opener features the ace of the A’s and the current best starter on the Toronto Blue Jays staff.
Sonny Gray has been one of baseball’s best over the past few years. The 26-year-old is coming off a 2015 season where he posted a 14-7 record with a 2.73 ERA, earning him an all-star appearance and a third-place finish in Cy Young voting.
This season, Gray has put two very strong starts on either side of a lesser one. He opened the season with a seven-inning win over the Chicago White Sox, but allowed three runs in six and a third innings his next time out against the Angels. What stood out from those two starts (13.1 IP) was his K:BB ratio of 11:7, but he reeled in his control for a recent win over the Royals.
Sanchez is not entirely dissimilar, allowing three and four walks over his last two outings. He’s managed those base runners brilliantly, however, and has given up just one earned run in each of his three starts (totalling 20.0 inning).
Most impressive are Sanchez’s strikeout numbers, averaging one per inning. This was curiously an issue for him last season, even in his bullpen role, as his relatively low strikeout totals did not match the raw talent held in his arsenal.
In his last time out, Sanchez allowed just two hits in seven innings while striking out seven in a win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Next: Game 2: Don't hassle the Happ