The Toronto Blue Jays start to the 2017 season has not gone as planned after John Gibbons and company were swept in a two-game mini-series at the hands of their division rival Baltimore Orioles.
Today is a new day as the Blue Jays cruise into Tampa Bay to commence a four-game set with the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Blue Jays will send hurler Marcus Stroman to the bump opposite Blake Snell in the opener on Thursday evening.
The timing is perfect as Stroman will be called upon to be the slump buster and guide the Jays to their first win of the new campaign. The “Stro-Show had a spring for the ages catapulting Team USA to victory at the World Baseball Classic and gaining national attention and accolades for his heroics on the bump.
The Jays offence has looked lackluster at best during their first two contests in Baltimore, mustering only 3 runs and lacking that clutch knock to take control of the game.
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The Jays will need to start capitalizing on their opportunities with runners in scoring position or it won’t matter who is on the mound for them.
Stroman last toed the rubber on Friday in Montreal where he shutout the Pittsburgh Pirates over four innings while fanning two along the way. The hurler always shines brighter on the big stage and there is no question he will be primed and ready to propel the Jays back to their winning ways.
Stroman has fared quite well versus the Rays lineup in the past minus Evan Longoria who has made short work of Stroman as you can tell from the table below.
My prediction for tonight is a 6-2 win for the Jays with Stroman going seven strong while allowing one earned run.