First Pitch: 6:07 pm CT
TV: Fox Sports North
Radio: WCCO/Tresure Island Baseball Network
Know Thine Enemy: Bluebird Banter
Today the Twins will open their only series of the year in Canada, as Martin Perez will take on Marcus Stroman. The Twins played the Jays earlier this year in a four game set, losing three out of four to Toronto at Target Field.
Minnesota will begin a stretch of 20 games in 21 days with each of those contests against teams that did not make the playoffs last season. This includes four games against the Tigers, six against the Angels, three versus the Mariners, and three playing the White Sox. If the Twins go something like 13-7 or 14-6 during that stretch, they should be able to maintain or grow their lead over the Indians.
Stroman has been the Blue Jays best pitcher to date, and comes into the game with a 1-4 record and a sterling 2.20 ERA. Stroman hasn’t gotten much run support so far, as the Blue Jays are averaging just 2.57 runs per game over his seven starts. He currently sports an 8.6 K/9 and has yet to allow a dinger, which the Twins may likely change with their propensity for mashing longballs.
Martin Perez has been both slicing and dicing lately for the Twins, as his new cutter has led to some quality outings as a starter. Cooper noted last week how the signing has been paying off for the Twins, and it is hard not to agree looking at Perez’s recent numbers. Perez currently sports a 2.08 ERA as a starter and has held opposing batters to a .632 OPS. He faced the Blue jays earlier this season, with a line of 6 IP, 7H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 5K.
Just two Twins have had double digit at-bats against Stroman. Jonathan Schoop has the most experience against ther righty, hitting .250 in 24 at-bats, with a double as his only extra-base hit. Nelson Cruz has had a lot of success against Stroman, going 6-11 against the Blue Jays top hurler. You can see all of the Twins stats vs Stroman here.
The Blue Jays have third baseman and super prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. batting fifth in tonight’s lineup, playing in his first game against the Twins. Guerrero Jr. has gotten off to a bit of a slow start in the bigs, hitting just .167 coming into tonight’s game.
|Max Kepler - RF||Eric Sogard - 2B|
|Jorge Polanco - SS||Freddy Galvis - SS|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Randal Grichuk - CF|
|Eddie Rosario - LF||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|C.J. Cron - 1B||Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - 3B|
|Marwin Gonzalez - 3B||Rowdy Tellez - DH|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Brandon Drury - RF|
|Jason Castro - C||Teoscar Hernandez - LF|
|Byron Buxton - CF||Danny Jansen - C|
Check out the Baseball Savant Preview for the game and the gamefeed (including exit velo, hit percentages and more)!