Houston at Toronto, 6:07 pm (CT)
The Astros head north and cross the border to face the Blue Jays. The place that keeps the 'world' in World Series. The Blue Jays were the talk of season after trading for R.A Dickey and pillaging the Marlins at their request. Injuries and slow starts have hampered Toronto out the gate.
Edwin Encarnacion andJose Bautista, once again lead the way for the Jays in the power department with 20 plus homeruns each. Raja Davis has lit it up on the base paths with 24 stolen bases before the All-Star break. Adam Lind has once again become useful, batting .306 with 11 home runs and 37 runs batted in before the break. There have been a few misses shockingly (not really) Melky Cabrera has come back to earth batting 69 points lower then his 2012 average at .277. Emilio Bonifacio and Brett Lawrie are batting around the .200 mark. Finally Jose Reyes has only played 34 games thus far, but 34 great games none the less. As for the pitching staff, Esmil Rogers is the only starter with at least 10 starts with an ERA under four (3.76).
Toronto has lost six straight games since returning from the All-Star break. The Jays were outscored 48-28 over two series with the red-hot Rays and Dodgers. Joey Batts has been locked in, he has three home runs and five runs batted in in six games. Jose Reyes has a .345 on-base percentage with two doubles and two stolen bases.
Astros fans know tonight's starter for Toronto all to well, Mark Buehrle. The starter of game 2 in 2005 World Series for the White Sox jettisoned north this offseason. He has had an up and down year to say the least; in July alone he has switched two quality starts around an eight run outing against the Orioles. Much like his counter part tonight, Buehrle's goal is to eat up innings and keep his team in the game. He can no longer dominate a game with his stuff alone. Buehrle currently has his highest carer FIP (4.35*) since 2009. Chris Carter is 2-for-3 in his a career against Buehrle.
Erik Bedard returns to his homeland to pitch against the Jays tonight. Bedard rebounded from poor starts before the All-Star break with two straight outings of two earned runs or less. Including 6 1/3 hitless innings against the M's, in which the lefty exited the game as a result of 109 pitches thrown. Melky Cabrera (3-21) and Rajai Davis (1-8) are both batting below .120 against Bedard in their careers.
courtesy of FanGraphs