The Angels and the Blue Jays are slated to take Rogers Centre field in Toronto tonight for a 7:07 p.m. ET first pitch. The Halos send lefty Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 2.88 ERA) to the hill to oppose Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez (2-4, 4.47). American League Preview and Free Pick: LA Angels over Toronto.
If you look closely at the Blue Jays trends the last two-plus seasons you will find two common denominators to their lack of success. This being their inability to consistently succeed against left-handed pitching and the inconsistency of their pitching rotation.
And not to insult the Toronto faithful or veteran starter J.A. Happ, however, when a pedestrian and so-so serviceable arm like Happ is the ace of your staff it is going to be a long season for fans and for the team, as a whole.
The Jays won for just the second time in nine games Tuesday night.
The winning pitcher?
The left-hander allowed two runs and three hits in Tuesday night’s win.
Offseason free agent addition Kendrys Morales doesn’t add much to this Blue Jays (+110, 9) troupe. And while he has back-to-back multi-hit performances his numbers versus lefthanded pitching the last year-plus is subpar. And the fact that the Jays need a victory today to win their first series in nearly a month is, who this team is, and will be for the remainder of the season.
It is likely that Morales and his two-game hot streak, sarcasm, will give way to prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tonight versus the Angels and Skaggs. Despite his five hits across the last two games the veteran Morales came into Monday’s contest having stretches of futility, e.g. 0-for-29 in early May.
Skaggs takes the pill to the hill tonight for the Angels (-110, 9). The club has scuffled in May after a solid 2018 April. While you will read and view the fact that the Angels have scored just 29 runs in their last eleven games it came against quality pitching, unlike tonight versus an extremely volatile and hittable Sanchez.
After leaving Coors Field with an 8-0 win over the Rockies the Halos have squared off against Minnesota’s Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson both losses. As well versus the Houston Astros Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, also a pair of losses. And in addition the underrated staff of the Tampa Rays that includes Chris Archer, Blake Snell and veteran National League reliever Sergio Romo, resulting in three losses.
Skaggs hasn’t won in his last four starts. However, wins and losses do not define the Angles lefty. His last outing against Tampa Bay was his fifth straight solid turn. Skaggs allowed just one run in six innings of work. And across his last five trips to the mound he has surrendered just seven runs, 25 hits across nearly 30 innings of work that has seen him record 32 strikeouts and a 25% SwgStrike rate.
Sanchez has allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts. His K:IP ratio doesn’t mitigate his lack of command. His inability to go deep into games and turn his starts over to the average Jays’ bullpen has been an utter disaster this season. He exited his last start after just four frames in a 10-5 loss to the Athletics. The right-hander has allowed multiple walks in each of his nine turns this season for a total of 29 in 50 1/3 innings this season.
Umpire Mark Wegner is scheduled to call balls and strikes tonight. And Wegner is pitcher-friendly for the most part. The veteran umpire has seen 10 of his last 13 times behind home plate go UNDER the TOTAL which offers lefty Skaggs a huge advantage over Sanchez. Skaggs is always around the plate and will benefit from Wegner’s K-Zone while the erratic Sanchez will struggle to pitch his way into the fifth inning in what eventually will be a loss for the Jays.
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