Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays host Diamondbacks for two: Full preview and pitching matchups

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Jun 17, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits a home run in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits a home run in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

The 39-33 Toronto Blue Jays welcome the 33-39 Arizona Diamondbacks to to for a quick mid-week series

This season hasn’t gone as planned for the Arizona Diamondbacks. After big-name offseason acquisitions like Zack Greinke, Jean Segura, and Shelby Miller in the bizarre deal with Atlanta Braves, Arizona wasn’t exactly expecting to be looking up at the third-place Colorado Rockies in late June.

Arizona has turned it on as of late, going 7-3 in their last 10 games, and they own the 12th ranked offence in baseball with 320 runs scored. Their power numbers rank similarly, with 85 home runs putting them 13th, while a team average of .264 ranks the Diamondbacks 10th. They even stay in that range when it comes to stolen bases, ranking 11th with 44.

It’s on the mound where the Diamondbacks have struggled, holding a 4.43 team ERA that ranks them in the bottom third of the league. They’ve walked the fifth-most batters in baseball at 250, and have surrendered a .258 opponent’s batting average (20th).

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Greinke has led the staff as expected, but that isn’t saying a great deal. He owns a 3.54 ERA through 15 starts, but of the Diamondbacks pitchers who have started two or more games, he’s the only one with an ERA below 4.00.

The bullpen has been a little stronger in Arizona, with the underrated closer Brad Ziegler being consistent as ever. Ziegler has saved 15 games in 15 opportunities with a 2.64 ERA. Offseason signing Tyler Clippard owns a 3.46 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 26 innings, but the home run ball has already bitten him five times. Daniel Hudson (1.61 ERA) and Jake Barrett (2.16 ERA) help to round out the group nicely.

At the plate, Paul Goldschmidt has found a running mate in the young Jake Lamb. Goldschmidt has 14 home runs and 45 RBIs to his name, leading the team by a mile with 57 walks and a mammoth .425 OBP.

Lamb has kept stride, though, equalling Goldschmidt’s power numbers and slugging .565, good for a .932 OPS as one of this season’s breakout players. Jean Segura has hit .307 so far while Yasmany Tomas is batting .257 with nine home runs. Ex-Jay Michael Bourn has also landed on the Diamondbacks roster, and rookie Peter O’Brien will be a name to watch. O’Brien is just 4-for-30 at the MLB level this season, but the powerful rookie was hitting .330 with 17 home runs in 51 games at the triple-A level.

Up next, we take a look at the two pitching matchups this week…

Next: Game 1 Preview: Blue Jays turn to their ace

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