Game #124 Preview: Cease vs Berríos

After the Blue Jays took game 1 yesterday, they’ll continue their 4 game set this evening with the White Sox. The game is once again set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

José Berríos gets the ball for the Jays, making his fifth start since coming over in a big trade at the deadline. After dominating in his first 2 starts, he has run into a bit of a rough patch his last two times out. In those two games on the recent road trip, he went a combined 9.1 innings, allowing 9 runs (8 earned) on 13 hits and a very bad 7 walks. And he struck out just 6 batters. But now he’s back in Toronto, where his first two dominant starts as a Blue Jay happened.

Coming from the AL Central, Berríos is quite familiar with the White Sox, having faced them three times already this year. In the two games played in Chicago, he was roughed up a bit, allowing 9 runs (8 earned) on 14 hits over 11 innings. He only walked one guy in each game, and struck out 8 total, but those 8 all came in one game, as he had a strikeoutless game on July 1.

In Berríos’ start against the White Sox in Minnesota, he had a great game. He went 7 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on just 1 hit and 3 walks while striking out 10.

White Sox’ Starter

Young right hander Dylan Cease will get the start for the White Sox, his team leading 26th of the year. Through 130.2 innings, Cease is 9-6 with a 4.06 ERA and a 3.58 FIP. His FIP is strong thanks to an 11.71 K/9 rate, the second highest in the American League, wedged between Gerrit Cole’s 12.11 mark and Robbie Ray’s 11.02. However, as a result of so many strikeouts, Cease has been struggling with pitching deep into games, as he is averaging just over 5 innings per game. Just twice this year he has pitched more than 6 innings, with both of those coming against the early season Tigers.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Josh Palacios was recalled prior to yesterday’s game, and it sounds like the expectation is that he’ll make the start in CF today. That’ll be his first big league start in CF, after getting 7 in RF and 2 in LF. He has a bit of game action in the Minors in CF at least. I would imagine that’ll give Randal Grichuk a day off, as he has started every game in CF since George Springer went down, and is just 4 for 23 in that time. He has at least hit 2 home runs and a double in that span, and amazingly also walked 4 times.

It was great to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. pick up a clutch hit yesterday. It was just his second RBI since the start of the last road trip, but his struggles seem to be continuing. Over his last 150 PA, he has 23 singles, 3 doubles and 7 home runs, walking 17 times. He also has just 22 runs and 17 RBI in that span. He’s very clearly running out of gas, and hopefully can figure out what he needs to do to get to his pre-All Star Break self.

White Sox’ Lineup

Tim Anderson sat yesterday for the third straight day, continuing to nurse a sore leg. It doesn’t seem overly likely he’ll play today, but he is listed as day to day, and it does seem like he’s on the cusp. It’s probably just coincidental that the White Sox have lost all 3 games that Anderson has been out.

Aside from the Anderson decision, expect the rest of the lineup to look fairly similar to last night. Tony La Russa isn’t really known to shake up a lineup a whole lot on a daily basis. But hey, that’ll sometimes mean Cèsar Hernández and his .306 OBP hits leadoff.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Whit Merrifield went 3-5 with a single, double and a triple, driving in 3 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. His bat helped his Royals take down the home town Astros 7-1.

Nathan Eovaldi allowed an unearned run on 4 hits and no walks, striking out 7 batters to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. However, he didn’t get the win, as that went to...

Garrett Whitlock, who worked a 2.2 nearly perfect innings in extras yesterday, and also picked the WPA King as a result. He earned a total of .650 WPA, as the Red Sox won the game in the bottom of the 11th on a Travis Shaw (apparently he’s back with the Sox) grand slam, beating the Rangers 8-4.

Find the Link

Find the link between Luis Robert and José Berríos.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant

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