Toronto Blue Jays versus Seattle Mariners (August 23)
The Blue Jays sit fourth in the AL East, while the Mariners are bringing up the rear in the AL West. Trent Thornton is scheduled to pitch for the Blue Jays and Justus Sheffield is set to start the game for the Mariners.
On the mound, Thornton has a 4-8 record with a high 5.30 ERA. He’s been hurt by the home run ball, allowing 20 this season.
That doesn’t bode well against the Mariners, who have hit 204 home runs this season.
Sam Gaviglio has been a workhorse out of Toronto’s bullpen, logging 79 2/3 innings with an ERA of 4.52. Tim Marza has been generally solid with an ERA of 4.31 in 48 innings. The Blue Jays are in good hands with closer Ken Giles, having saved 16 with an ERA of 1.80.
As a team, the Blue Jays are allowing five runs per game.
For the Mariners, Justus Sheffield is set to make only his second appearance this season and fifth of his Major League career. He’s allowed two runs and four walks in three innings. Clearly a bullpen game, the Mariners are likely to also pitch Brandon Brennan (5.50 ERA in 36 innings), Cory Gearrin (3.92 ERA in 41 1/3 innings) and perhaps Anthony Bass (3.57 ERA in 35 1/3 innings)
As a unit the Mariners are allowing 5.7 runs per game.
Offensively, the Blue Jays have hit 199 home runs and average 4.5 runs per game. Randal Grichuk leads the team with 23 home runs. A power source in Freddy Galvis is now with the Reds, but Justin Smoak, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr have all chipped in with 19 home runs each.
For the Mariners, they have a balanced home run attack lead by Daniel Vogelbach’s 28 home runs. Domingo Santana forms a good power duo with 21 home runs and Omar Navarez and Kyle Seager have each contributed 17 home runs.
As a team, the Mariners are batting .243 and average 4.9 runs per game.
It’s difficult to determine how well the Blue Jays will do against the vast array of pitchers they are likely to see. Given that the Mariners are giving up among the most runs in the league, Toronto should surpass their season average scoring output. Seattle could also feat on Thornton’s inability to keep the ball in the park. Give the Mariners an advantage at home and expect a 6-5 or 7-5 win.