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Game 13: Blue Jays at Twins

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Jackie Robinson Day! Also Martin Perez makes his first start as a Twin

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins - Game One
If only the Twins could actually have nine Jackie Robinson’s in their lineup...that’d be a pretty good squad.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

First Pitch: 6:40 CT

TV: Fox Sports North

Radio: WCCO/Treasure Island Baseball Network

Know Thine Enemy: Bluebird Banter

It’s Jackie Robinson day around the MLB, as all players and coaches will be wearing number 42 to honor the man who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier. It was Robinson’s 100th birthday earlier this year, as the former Dodger infielder was born January 31st, 1919 and was 28 when he made his big league debut on April 15th, 1947. Take a minute to watch this quick tribute to one of baseball’s greatest heroes:

Martin Perez makes his first start in a Twins uniform tonight against the Blue Jays, as the former Texas Ranger has allowed seven earned runs over 8.1 innings in relief. Fortunately for Perez, the Jays have been one of the worst-hitting teams in the MLB, as they sport an OPS of just .630 and a team batting average of .203. Both of those marks rank fifth-worst in the big leagues.

On the mound for Toronto will be 32-year old right-hander Matt Shoemaker. The former Los Angeles starter has a career ERA of 3.83, but has a 0.92 mark through 19.2 innings this season. However, two of those starts came against the Tigers and Orioles, and the third came against a struggling Red Sox squad.

Just three Twins have had double digit at-bats against Shoemaker, and two of them (Jason Castro and Marwin Gonzalez) are not in the starting lineup. Nelson Cruz has seen Shoemaker the most with 28 ABs, sporting an .846 OPS (.286 BA) with two home runs. Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Jonathan Schoop each have a dinger against Shoemaker in limited at-bats.

Today's Lineups

BLUE JAYS TWINS
Billy McKinney - RF Mitch Garver - C
Freddy Galvis - SS Jorge Polanco - SS
Randal Grichuk - CF Nelson Cruz - DH
Justin Smoak - 1B Eddie Rosario - LF
Teoscar Hernandez - LF C.J. Cron - 1B
Brandon Drury - 3B Willians Astudillo - 3B
Alen Hanson - 2B Jake Cave - RF
Danny Jansen - DH Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Luke Maile - C Byron Buxton - CF

I’m a bit of a nerd and enjoy all of the numbers surrounding the game of baseball, so one of my favorite things to look at during the game is the Statcast Gamefeed provided by Baseball Savant. It gives you exit velocities and the expected batting averages for each ball hit in play, among other cool metrics. Check out the feed for tonight’s game here!