Houston at Toronto, 12:07 pm (CT)
There is no pitchers matchup listed above today, because I would like to tell you a story. Lets compare two players. One is making $13,750,000 and hasn't had ERA under five since his first start of the season. The other is making $500,000 this season, and has has held teams to three runs or less in eight of last nine starts.
As you might have already guessed, we are talking about today's starters - Josh Johnson and Dallas Keuchel. Maybe that was Jeff Luhnow's plan all along. Here is the missing stat line.
LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-5 / 4.42 ERA / 1.90 WHIP) vs. RHP Josh Johnson (1-6 / 5.66 ERA / 1.57 WHIP)
Keuchel's ERA over his previous nine starts is 3.44. If you were to remove his dismal 5 run outing against the Rays, his ERA over the eight remaining game is 2.86. Maybe I'm just putting him in the best light, but either way he still keeping the ball on the ground (1.90 GO/FO), striking out batters (31 strikeouts over his last 29 2/3 innings), and keeping the Astros in the game.
Keuchel is a new obstacle for the Blue Jays to face, but Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion appear to be able to hit anything at the moment. Reyes was 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs scores, and two runs batted yesterday. Encarnacion hit two home runs in one inning off the Astros batting practice rotation.
As for Mr. Johnson, he was one the pieces that made the trade between Jays and Marlins insane. In reality, Johnson has struggled with health and command problems have prevented him from replicating his 2010 and 2011 seasons. He is leaving too many pitches over the plate to not be hit around. In his last start against Houston, Johnson pitched seven innings of two run ball, while striking out six. The lone representative from that team is Jose Altuve, who was 0-3 against Johnson