Blue Jays series preview and pitching matchups: Home for the Rays
Game 2: Tuesday, May 17 – 7:07 ET
Marcus Stroman (4-0, 3.54 ERA) vs.
Chris Archer (2-4, 4.57 ERA)
Recent Duke graduate Marcus Stroman gets the ball on Tuesday in what’s becoming a headlining AL East matchup: Stroman vs. Archer.
Stroman has been exactly what the Blue Jays need atop their rotation, pitching six innings or more in all but one of his eight starts and feeding Toronto’s talented infield with a very high ground ball rate.
Over his past three starts, Stroman has pitched 21.0 innings with a 2.14 ERA, striking out 22 batters and walking just six. His most recent start came against the Giants in San Francisco, where Stroman allowed four runs (two earned) and eight hits over six innings.
Archer’s season has been fairly uneven, but he’s shown signs of turning things around after an especially difficult start. The right-hander allowed six earned runs in two of his first four outings, but has also worked in a pair of 6.0+ innings shutouts.
His most recent outing wasn’t strong, allowing four earned runs on five hits over just five innings against the Mariners in Seattle. Archer walked four batters that day, and the free passes have cropped up as an issue for him a couple of times. His walks-per-nine currently sits at 4.4 after a mark of 2.8 last year and a career average of 3.1.
Last time out against the Blue Jays on April 30th, Archer allowed two earned runs over six innings, but on just one hit. There’s been talk of Archer’s velocity dipping, as it’s down to an average of 93.9 MPH from 95.1 MPH in 2015. His average velocity in 2014 was 94.2 MPH, though, so there shouldn’t be much reason for worry.
Next: Series finale: Can Dickey continue his surge?