The Rangers are fresh off an embarrassing 19-4 loss in Monday’s series opener. Brandon Drury hit his first career grand slam as part of the offensive onslaught, while rookies Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2-for-4, three runs) and Bo Bichette (4-for-6, three runs) were also instrumental in the victory. Can Toronto keep their momentum going versus the Rangers in Game 2 on Tuesday night?
Rangers turn to Lynn after embarrassing loss
Lance Lynn will be tasked with getting the Rangers back on track on Tuesday evening. The right-hander has been among the best pitchers in baseball this season. After a couple of down seasons, the veteran right-hander has revived his career in Texas, where he’s posted the second-highest WAR (5.5) among pitchers in all of baseball — just 0.1 WAR behind league-leader Max Scherzer (5.6). Lynn enters with a 14-7 record to go along with a 3.60 ERA in 24 starts and he’s completed six innings or more in each of his last 20 trips to the mound. At age 32, he’s posted a career-high strikeout rate (10.34 K/9) as a full-time starter, while cutting his walk rate nearly in half from last season. The numbers all translate to a FIP (2.93) that ranks second among qualified pitchers in the American League and fifth in the MLB overall. Last time out, he tossed his third consecutive quality outing, allowing just one earned run in seven frames on the road versus the Cleveland Indians. During that span, the Rangers’ veteran has surrendered just three earned runs with 26 strikeouts in 20 combined innings of work.
Lance Lynn, Painted 95mph Front Door Two Seamer. 🖌️🖼️🎨 pic.twitter.com/fj7TYJbOPs
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 3, 2019
Despite all the success he’s had in 2019, Lynn was roughed up in his only start of the year against Toronto. He allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings of work against them on May 4, but still walked away with a victory on his resume.
Blue Jays part ways with Galvis
Toronto opted to part ways with starting shortstop Freddy Galvis, waiving the infielder in hopes of opening up defensive innings for some of their younger players down the stretch of the season. The move made sense for both sides, giving the Blue Jays front office an early look at 2020, while allowing Galvis to play every day for a team with meaningful baseball left on the schedule. Galvis was almost immediately picked up by the Cincinnati Reds, sending him back to the National League, where he spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career. One of the main beneficiaries of Galvis’ absence will be infielder Brandon Drury, who has caught fire at the plate following a slow start to the season. Since July 1, Drury is batting .295 with a healthy .902 OPS, proving he belongs in the Jays’ future plans.
Brandon Drury led off the 4th.
Nine batters later, he hit a grand slam.
— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2019
Toronto is scheduled to hand the ball to lefty Thomas Pannone for his second career start against the Rangers. Pannone will be looking to rebound after getting roughed up in his previous start. He was shelled for seven earned runs on six hits in 2 ⅓ innings against the New York Yankees. In 28 games (six starts) this season, the Blue Jays’ lefty is 2-5 with a 6.83 ERA. The 25-year-old had been solid over his previous two starts, posting a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings of work, while striking out 13 batters and walking just two.
Pannone’s lone start versus Texas was a forgettable one for the young left-hander, as he surrendered seven runs on five hits and lasted just 2 ⅓ innings in a loss on May 4. According to Baseball Savant, current Rangers are batting .264 in 12 plate appearances off the Blue Jays’ lefty coming into this matchup.
- Rangers are 6-1 in Lynn’s last 7 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Rangers are 4-1 in Lynn’s last 5 starts during game 2 of a series.
- Rangers are 7-3 in Lynn’s last 10 starts.
- Blue Jays are 2-5 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Blue Jays are 2-7 in their last 9 vs. American League West.
- Blue Jays are 1-5 in Pannone’s last 6 starts