The Toronto Blue Jays will kickoff a series against the Texas Rangers here. Toronto is in the midst of a lost season, while the Rangers are scrapping to stay alive in the AL playoff race and make one last push. Ariel Jurado will start for the Rangers here, while Toronto will use an opener.
The Rangers were one of the best feel-good stories in the league during the first half of the season. They were above .500 for most of it and looked like they could potentially make the playoffs. Given that many picked them to finish last in the AL West heading into the season, it was an incredible achievement. Unfortunately, they slipped following the All-Star break, losing a bunch of games in a row. Although the damage has been done and they likely won’t be making the playoffs, they have managed to turn things back around recently. Over their past ten games, they’ve gone 6-4 to crawl back to a game over .500. As they look to keep heading in the right direction, they’ll start Ariel Juradohere.
The 23-year-old has been up and down, like you’d expect someone his age to be. His ERA is middling at 4.74, but he was dominant in his most recent start. On the road in Cleveland, he gave up only three hits and two runs over seven innings. The Rangers have played a tough schedule but they’ve done well when they’ve gotten to fave weaker competition, and they’re 8-3 in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing record. Jurado’s ERA is much lower on the road this year, suggesting that he understandably struggles with pitching in Texas’ home park, which is one of the most hitter-friendly in the league.
Blue Jays Struggling
The Blue Jays are in the midst of another lost season. The team is going nowhere, and they enter this one at 49-72. They do have some young talent to get excited about, like Vlad Guerrero Jr., but success seems a long way off. The team has traded away all of their good veterans, and things have gotten so dire that the GM was recently bragging about how many years of service time he’d acquired. Franchise cornerstones like Marcus Stroman have been jettisoned, and the team will just be playing out the string for the rest of 2019.
The Blue Jays will use Neil Ramirez as an opener here, and it looks like he’ll give way to Brock Stewart for the bulk of the work after pitching an inning or two. Stewart was recently acquired from the Dodgers, and he’s only pitched eight innings this year. In those eight innings, he’s given up eight earned runs and 15 baserunners. He has a career 5.22 ERA and is already 27, so I’m not too optimistic about his prospects of developing into a future starter for Toronto even though some people were high on him back in the day. The Blue Jays are also 17-36 in their last 53 games against teams with winning records.
Blue Jays are:
- 17-36 in their last 53 vs. a team with a winning record
- 8-20 in their last 28 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- 6-15 in their last 21 Monday games
- 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record
- 8-3 in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing record
- 4-1 in their last 5 games following a win