Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays Series Preview and Pitching Matchups: Rays @ Jays

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May 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) exchanges a high-five with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) in the eighth inning after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Rays won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) exchanges a high-five with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) in the eighth inning after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Rays won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Game 1: August 8 – 7:07 ET

Jake Odorizzi (6-5, 3.70 ERA, 3.92 FIP) vs.
RA Dickey (8-2, 4.49 ERA, 5.30 FIP)

Odorizzi enters this game on a 20.2 scoreless inning streak, as he’s been excellent in his last three outings against the A’s, Yankees and Royals. In those three starts, he’s only issued two walks and struck out 16 batters, and it’s easily been his best stretch of the year.

He represents a diverse repertoire, with a four-seam fastball, cutter, curve, slider and splitter, but despite the vast array of pitches, he doesn’t boast heavy velocity or a go to put away pitch. He relies on command and the ability to mess up timing and keep hitters off balance.

His splitter is his best swing and miss offering, notching a 12.02% whiff rate, the highest of all his pitches. His four-seam gets 11.98% whiffs, which is fairly high for a fastball, and it’s largely due to effectively use it up in the zone with two strikes. His four-seam has a rising action to it, making it a weapon up in the zone.

He’s faced the Jays twice this year, and has failed to get into the sixth inning in each of them, but he’s only given up three earned runs in 10.2 IP. He hasn’t been efficient by any means, but he’s managed to keep the Jays big bats in check.

Dickey enters this game coming off one of his best starts of the year, and he looks to continue that success against a team that he hasn’t fared well against this season. In two starts against the Rays, he’s allowed seven earned runs in 11 IP.

The knuckleball and the unconventional nature it brings to the table is inherently unpredictable, making it difficult to predict how Dickey will perform from start to start. With that being said, Dickey has consistently delivered more success later in the year, and let’s hope that can continue for the duration of the 2016 season.

Next: Estrada looks to continue dominant season

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