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2022 Series Preview 7: Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays

The Astros (10-9, t-3rd in AL West) head to the Great White North for a weekend series against the Blue Jays (13-7, 2nd in AL East)

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Notes

The Blue Jays are a team on an upward trajectory who are expected to make a splash in October this season. They certainly have looked that way to start 2022, busting out of the gate to one of the best records in the AL at 13-7, with only their division rivals the Yankees sitting above them at 13-6.

The Jays have yet to lose a series this season and were just an inning away from sweeping the Astros when they first met just last week. The team is getting some big boy numbers from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.309/.380/.559), who’s five home runs has him currently tied for 4th in the AL. We’re also seeing clutch hitting out of old friend George Springer (.288/.338/.521), who just recently slapped a two-out, bottom of the 9th, three-run homer to give Toronto a win over the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, shiny new offseason acquisition Matt Chapman (.219/.278/.397) has stumbled a little bit out of the gate, as has Bo Bichette (.212/.239/.306). If Toronto can get them going then their offense will become even more of a tough draw for opposing pitchers. If you could also add in Teoscar Hernandez returning from the IL (still a little ways away), the Blue Jays could look unstoppable.

As for pitching, so far it looks like the Blue Jays have two bona fide aces in the form of Alex Manoah and Kevin Gausman, who are sporting 1.44 and 2.19 ERA’s, respectively. They also have Ross Stripling and Yusei Kikuchi in the rotation, who’s numbers have been decent, and José Berríos, who’s numbers have not been. But Berríos’ numbers are mostly due to a very poor first outing against the Rangers, and he seems to be rounding into form.

Jordan Romano (RHP, 10.1 IP, 1.74 ERA, 12 K’s) has been holding down closing duties for the Jays and has been nails. He’s already logged 9 saves in 2022, which is just behind Josh Hader’s 10 for most in MLB. You can also expect to see old friend Yimi Garcia (RHP, 8.1 IP, 4.32 ERA, 5 K’s) and Adam Cimber (RHP, 10.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 6 K’s) in high leverage roles, with Cimber being the only other reliever with a save in Toronto’s pen.


Pitching Matchups

Game 1: José Urquidy (RHP, 1-1, 5.52 ERA, 7 K’s) vs Yusei Kikuchi (LHP, 0-1, 3.75 ERA, 9 K’s)

Kikuchi is making his second consecutive start against the Astros after a game that saw him give up 4 runs (2 earned) in just 3.2 innings of work. His abbreviated outing was due mostly to his 5 walks in that game. Kikuchi has struggled a little with the free passes this season, surrendering 10 base on balls in just 12 innings of work.

Game 2: Luis Garcia (RHP, 1-0, 4.60 ERA, 14 K’s) vs José Berríos (RHP, 1-0, 4.91 ERA, 15 K’s)

Berríos got off on the wrong foot in his first start of the season, getting slapped around by the Rangers for 4 runs in just a third of an inning. He seems to have figured it out though, steadily lengthening his appearances until his last game where he went 7 innings and surrendered just two runs. Expect to see his ERA drop as he distances himself from his disaster of a first outing.

Game 3: Framber Valdez (LHP, 1-1, 3.15 ERA, 17 K’s) vs Kevin Gausman (RHP, 1-1, 2.19 ERA, 31 K’s)

Kevin Gausman has roared out of the gate to become the Blue Jays’ ace so far in 2022. He has yet to walk a batter in 24.2 IP and his 31 strikeouts show that he has complete control of the zone. He had 6 solid innings his last time out, giving up just one unearned run and fanning 9 Red Sox in his second consecutive start against Boston.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Friday, April 29th @ 6:07 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Blue Jays - SN590
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Blue Jays - SNET

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Game 2: Saturday, April 30th @ 2:07 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Blue Jays - SN590
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Blue Jays - SNET

Game 3: Sunday, May 1st @ 12:37 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Blue Jays - SN590
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Blue Jays - SNET / MLB Network (out-of-market only)


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (5 votes)
  • 32%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (34 votes)
  • 40%
    Blue Jays Win 2-1
    (42 votes)
  • 22%
    Blue Jays Sweep 3-0
    (23 votes)
104 votes total Vote Now