Toronto Blue Jays News

Series Preview: Lowly Angels visit the Blue Jays

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Aug 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) talks to umpire Dana DeMuth in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) talks to umpire Dana DeMuth in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Game 2 : August 24 – 7:07 ET

Matt Shoemaker (7-13, 4.14 ERA, 3.61 FIP) vs.
Marco Estrada (7-5, 3.20 ERA, 4.17 FIP)

The aforementioned Shoemaker has thrown well this year, reverting back to his 2014 form when he went 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA. Last year, his HR/9 spiked and it had a huge effect on his performance. His 2016 mark has gone back down to 1.05, but the home run is probably the biggest factor in his inflated ERA.

His batted ball profile — 24% LD, 38.7% GB, and 37.3% FB — means the ball is put in the air on a regular basis. Combine that with his fairly high 31.1% hard contact percentage and you have the potential for a home run problem.

This bodes well for the Jays and Shoemaker’s start in the Rogers Centre. In one start last year in Toronto, Shoemaker allowed 7 ER in 6 IP, including two home runs on May 21.

Shoemaker’s velocity is up across the board, as his four-seam fastball is averaging 92.29 mph, up from 90.82 last season. He also mixes in a sinker, slider and the occasional curve, but he relies heavily on the splitter to put hitters away on a regular basis.

He gets whiffs on 21.30% of his splitters, and he buries down in the zone to get swings and misses. He also gets 18.86% on his sliders, and he also gets his four-seam up in the zone to get pop-ups and whiffs.

He has a diverse repertoire and he uses three different pitches to get hitters out, and excellent command to use all of those pitches in a variety of situations.

Since his start on the 3rd of August, Estrada has struggled in his last two starts against the Yankees and Rays. He’s surrendered 7 ER in 9 IP, including 4 BB’s against the Rays. Along with the walks, he gave up 3 HR in those 9 IP and that has inflated his FIP.

The Angels lineup isn’t strong, and if Estrada can pitch well to the Angels home run threats he stands a good chance at getting back on track in this one.

Next: G3: Happ vs Weaver provides excellent matchup for Jays

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