Padres Series Preview: Friars Head North of Border to Battle Blue Jays in Three-Game Set

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres are coming off an extremely successful series against the Washington Nationals. The Padres would take two out of three games from the Nats in D.C. Now the Padres will travel to another country to face their next opponent.

The Padres will take on the Toronto Blue Jays for a three game set at the Rogers Centre. We currently do not know what to expect from the Friars. They are as unpredictable as the game itself. The Padres are actually off to a pretty nice start after the all-star break. They are 5-5, but have manged to win series against the Giants and Nationals. The Padres will not have it any easier in this series.

The Blue Jays are having a nice season. They currently sit on a 55-44 record and are just three games out of first place in the treacherous A.L. East. The Jays aren’t off to the best start after the all-star break as they are 4-4. That is certainly not to their standards. Especially considering that they would lose two out of three games against the Oakland Athletics. So if the A’s can do it, the Padres certainly are capable of doing so. This will not be an easy series at all, but a positive outcome is definitely possible. However, the Padres should not underestimate their opponent as they are a force to be reckoned with. Overall though I see the Jays taking the series based on the pitching matchups I will break down for you.

Pitching Matchups

Colin Rea vs Aaron Sanchez 4:07 p.m.

Andrew Cashner vs Marcus Stroman 4:07 p.m.

Luis Perdomo vs Marco Estrada 9:37 a.m.

These pitching matchups heavily favor the Toronto Blue Jays. The Padres will have it real tough in these games. They will be facing the cream of the crop of the Blue Jays pitching staff. The Blue Jays pitching has always really been out shined by their incredible offense. Well that is no different this season. People of course pay way more attention to their batters rather than their pitchers. Well it’s time to give some recognition to their pitching as well. I mean two out of the three guys we are facing in this series made it to the 2016 All Star Game. The First one is Aaron Sanchez. The young man from Southern California is having a year to remember. At just 24 years of age he made his first All Star Game. He is tearing it up with a record of 10-1 and an ERA of 2.87. Sanchez currently has the third best ERA in the A.L. He has quietly been one of the better pitchers in the A.L. this season. Colin Rea will definitely not have an easy task on hand with Sanchez. Rea has been another one of those heavily inconsistent pitchers for the Friars. Oddly enough Rea has actually managed to stay consistent in his last two starts. But that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Rea has allowed four runs on eight hits in each of his last couple of starts. Now if Rea stays consistent with that, it’ll certainly not be enough to win the game. Especially up against a pitcher like Aaron Sanchez.

Game two will bring a matchup that I believe the Padres are capable of taking. The Blue Jays will have Marcus Stroman on the mound. The Jays have always had ambitions that the sinker ball pitcher may one day be their staff ace. With other pitchers outshining him this season it seems unlikely. Even though Stroman has shown what he can do throughout the season. Stroman currently sits on a pretty bad ERA of 4.90 but has found ways to win with an 8-4 record. Stroman is also coming off an amazing start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would go eight innings and would only allow one run to cross the plate. Stroman is definitely not the biggest threat of the series, but he also should not be taken lightly. Andrew Cashner has proven to be one of the brightest spots since the all-star break. Cashner has not pitched out of his skin. Cashner has shown us what he is capable of doing at his full potential. We have seen these types of performances from Cashner in the past. It’s just a matter of him staying consistent and keeping up with these performances. Cashner has only allowed two earned runs and has struck out 17 batters in 11 and two-thirds innings since the all-star break. To add to it they would come against elite teams in the Giants and Cardinals. Cashner is more than capable of taking game two of this series for the Friars.

The third game of the series should bring us another great matchup. The Blue Jays will have 2016 All Star, Marco Estrada on the mound. Estrada had always been a pretty average pitcher before this season. Well this season he has definitely taken a step up with a nice 2.94 ERA. Estrada would provide a quality start in his last outing as he would go six innings and only allow two runs. Perdomo will have a tough task. But the way Perdomo has been, it is likely that he may pull off a win. Perdomo went from being the guy to DFA to now being the most consistent pitcher on the Padres staff. Perdomo recently had the best start of his career . He would allow two runs in seven innings against the Washington Nationals. Hopefully Perdomo can sneak in another win for the Padres in game three. Overall the Padres do have a chance in this series. However, with the best part of the Jays rotation going, I don’t see the Padres taking this series. Let’s also not forget the type of bats the Jays have.

Josh Donaldson

A lot of people seem to forget just how good the Blue Jays offense is. With players like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant trending we forget just how good Josh Donaldson is. Donaldson is hands down one of the best players in the game today. Let’s not forget that he was the A.L. MVP just last season. Donaldson is killing yet again this season. He is currently at a .302 BA with 24 homers and 70 RBI. His OPS is also pretty insane at 1.002. Donaldson not only made the 2016 ASG but he has also made the last three All Star Games. This man is one of the elite players in the MLB. He is definitely someone to keep on eye on in this series.

Edwin Encarnacion

Encarnacion is another guy who is forgotten a lot of times. Not only do the top MLB players cast a shadow on him but also some of his star teammates. If I asked you right now, who leads the MLB in RBI would Edwin Encarnacion honestly come to mind? Would you think of David Ortiz or Nolan Arenado? I know I would. Well Edwin Encarnacion is currently the top run producer in the game with 87 RBI on the season. He is also third in jacks with 27 on the season. Encarnacion has been one of the best power hitters of recent times. Since 2012 Encarnacion has blasted 178 home runs counting the 27 he has this season. He has truly been a phenomenal player these past few years. Make sure you catch his at bats in this series.

Michael Saunders

Michael Saunders has gone from being virtually unknown to becoming the top Canadian player in the MLB. Saunders has had a breakout 2016 season in which he made the ASG via the final vote. Saunders at least stats wise is now the best Canadian baseball player, overtaking Joey Votto. Saunders is currently at a very nice BA of .287 with 19 homers and 46 RBI. His OPS also comes in at a very nice .913 for the season. Saunders has that feel good story to him and you just can’t hate the guy. Make sure to keep a close watch on him in this series.

Ryan Schimpf

Man oh man. The 2016 Padres have just been packed full of surprises. There are gems within this whole system just waiting to be discovered. Schimpf is another prime example of that. Schimpf was just killing it in El Paso. Then he was brought up and looked to be pretty average. But now after the all-star break, he has completely broken out. Schimpf is becoming one of the best hitters on the team. Schimpf has been red hot in his last seven games. He has achieved a very nice BA of .318 with four home runs and seven RBI. It really is incredible how much Power Schimpf has in his small frame. He now has five home runs since the all-star break. I am definitely hoping to see at least his 10th of the season in this series. Schimpf can definitely be a factor in this series and in the rest of the season. One to keep an eye on for the Friars especially in returning to the franchise which drafted him.

Wil Myers

To say that Wil Myers has slowed down since the all-star break is quite the understatement. In fact in the last seven games Myers has only manged to get three hits. This can all be because he is not playing at Petco Park. Or it can be a serious problem after the Home Run Derby. Hopefully it’s just those crazy home/away splits we have seen all year long. Maybe this series can help Myers find his grove again. Myers has actually been pretty successful at the Rogers Centre. In 14 games in Toronto Myers has a very nice BA of .294 with an OPS of .925. Myers also has three home runs in the Rogers Centre to add to it. Hopefully Myers can get back to that “all-star” form in this series. Also hopefully the Pads can keep up the exiting baseball. Go Padres!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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