Eli Morgan's Debut: Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays Game Preview

Eli Morgan's Debut: Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays Game Preview

Cole Paganelli
3 years ago
3 min read

Friday night will start a three-game series between playoff hopefuls as the Toronto Blue Jays (25-24) will take on the Cleveland Indians (27-21). This American League showdown will take place at Progressive Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.

Toronto comes in on the heels of a series win over the New York Yankees, although they did lose the second game of a doubleheader on Thursday, 5-3. In the loss, Bo Bichette hit his 11th home run of the season while starter Robbie Ray went just 4.2 innings allowing five runs (four earned).

Cleveland also won their last series taking three of four from the Detroit Tigers. On Thursday, they won the finale 5-2. In the win, Shane Bieber struck out 12 and allowed just one run over seven innings. Eddie Rosario hit his fourth home run of the season in the victory.

Despite playing on the road, the Blue Jays are the favorites Friday night. They are currently -164 to win while the Indians’ moneyline is +138. The runline features Cleveland +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is eight.

Pitching Matchup

The Toronto Blue Jays will send ace Hyun Jin Ryu (4-2, 2.53 ERA) to the mound Friday. In his last start, a 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Ryu was solid as he went 6.2 innings and allowed just two runs while striking out seven.

The Indians will send righty Eli Morgan to make his major league debut in this one. In three starts at Triple-A Columbus this season, Morgan is 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and has struck out 13 in 13.2 innings.

By The Number

Offensively, Toronto has been one of the best teams in the league. They currently rank fifth, averaging 5.02 runs per game. The Indians rank 24th, averaging 3.96 runs per game.

The Indians hold the advantage defensively this season. They rank eighth, allowing opponents just 3.94 runs per game. The Blue Jays rank 16th, allowing 4.36 runs.

Blue Jays Look To Build Off Of Last Series

It has been a tough stretch as of late for the Blue Jays. They are 3-7 in their last ten games and have slipped to 5.5 games out of first in the AL East. After winning their last series, though, they are hoping to keep the momentum going into the weekend.

Leading the way for the team offensively is first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. On the season, he is hitting .333/.443/.661 with 16 home runs, 41 runs batted in, and 38 runs scored. He currently has the second-best odds to win the AL MVP at +350.

Guerrero has been especially hot over the last week. In the last seven games, he is hitting .360/.467/.960 with five home runs and nine runs batted in.

Indians Look To Improve At Home

At 27-21, the Cleveland Indians are currently a single game behind the Chicago White Sox for first in the AL Central. While they have been above .500 at home, they will look to improve on their 11-9 record at Progressive Field Friday.

Leading the way offensively for Cleveland is third baseman Jose Ramirez. On the season, he is hitting .256/.347/.535 with a team-leading 12 home runs, 34 runs scored, and six stolen bases. He is also third in runs batted in on the Indians with 26.

Unfortunately, not many Indians have had much success against Ryu in their careers. No Indian has homered off of him, and only Eddie Rosario has a run batted in off of the lefty. Only one player, Amed Rosario, has double-digit at-bats against him, and he is hitting .214 against Ryu in 14 at-bats.

Indians Need Offense To Support Rookie

Anytime that you send a pitcher to make his major league debut, you can’t be one hundred percent sure what you are going to get. With that in mind, the Indians’ offense needs to find a way to get to Ryu to give Eli Morgan the confidence to attack the strike zone.

It won’t be easy, as Hyun Jin Ryu is one of the best in the game on the mound, but if the Indians can get to him, they may be able to get their fourth win in their last five games.

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