After being swept in a two-game series in Baltimore, Toronto heads to Tampa Bay where they will open a four-game series. Those betting baseball are looking for more runs from the Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay took series the New York Yankees and are seeking to make the most of this opening homestand after being 36-45 (-15.9 units) last season in Clearwater. Let’s dig into the details.
At 5’8, Marcus Stroman is not going to create the leverage of say a Chris Sale and blow hitters away. Yet Toronto’s right-hander has enough velocity and has developed several pitches, mostly to induced ground balls, but has re-worked cutter to get more swing and misses when batter has two strikes. Despite his diminutive stature, Stroman has adjusted his pitching style to go deeper in game and become more effective. He’s not enjoyed much success against Tampa Bay with 3-4 record and 4.84 ERA.
Lefty Blake Snell showed much promise in his rookie campaign, with a darting 94-MPH fastball and a wicked slider. As effective as he could be from hitter to hitter, Snell did not always know where those pitches were going, thus, opposing teams quickly learned if he’s missing the strike zone, be patient and take the walk or wait until he has to groove one down the middle when behind in the count. This is big year for Snell to prove he’s Tampa Bay’s next ace in the making. The lefthander split two games with Toronto last year, winning at home.
Scoring three runs in two games is not going to endure to those making MLB picks, but that is what the Blue Jays have done in 21 innings. To this point Toronto is not getting the key hit, which is why they have left 19 men on base. Thus far the middle of the order hitters, Jose Bautista, Kendrys Morales and Troy Tulowitzki, are a combined 0-for-26.