Jose Bautista won’t be playing. Neither will Chris Colabello or Ryan Goins. Otherwise, it’ll be a rematch of last year’s American League Championship Series when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Kansas City Royals this Wednesday, starting at 7:07 PM ET on Sportsnet. This is the finale of a three-game set at Rogers Centre; Toronto won Monday’s opener 6-2 as a –200 favourite.
Wednesday’s matchup features Marcus Stroman (3.92 FIP) pitching for the Blue Jays against Ian Kennedy (5.21 FIP). If you look just at ERA, Kennedy appears to be the better pitcher this year at 4.04 to Stroman’s 5.08. However, ERA isn’t the best predictor of future performance. Stroman has been saddled with an unfortunate .317 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), while Kennedy has enjoyed a friendly .258 BABIP, with 83.9% of runners left on base compared to 64.8% for Stroman.
The Jays expect to be without Bautista (.815 OPS) until after the All-Star break, as he recovers from a case of turf toe. Colabello (.886 OPS last year) isn’t due back from his 80-game PED suspension until July 23, and Goins (.524 OPS) is on the 15-day DL with tightness in his forearm.