There is no question that it has been a tough season so far for the Toronto Blue Jays. I don’t think anyone expected them to have the second worst record in the American League by the Victoria Day long weekend, even without the slugging services of Edwin Encarnacion.
However two constants for the Blue Jays in 2017 has been the starting pitching of Marco Estrada and Marcus Stroman. While the Blue Jays have had injury issues to J.A. Happ, Francisco Liriano and Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays fans and fantasy pool players can take comfort in the fact that there is a strong chance you will get a quality start from either Estrada or Stroman. In their 19 starts this season, they have had a combined total of 13 quality starts (seven for Estrada and six for Stroman).
In nine games, Stroman has a record of four wins and two losses, with a solid earned run average of 3.00. His statistics show that he has been pitching effectively in getting out of jams as he has a very respectable earned run average despite a relatively high WHIP of 1.39.
There are two areas where Stroman needs to improve. The first is for him to try and reduce the number of hits allowed. He currently has given up 64 hits in 57 innings. The second is he needs to be much better in situations when there are two outs. According to mlb.com, Stroman has an earned run average of 3.10 with no outs, 1.66 with one out, but an earned run average of 4.80 with two outs.
As for Estrada, Blue Jays fans and fantasy pool players should be very pleased with what they have seen to date. Like Stroman, Estrada has a winning record of three wins and two losses. He has given up fewer hits (55) than innings pitched (62.666), and has more strikeouts (70) than innings pitched as well. The fact that Estrada has eight more strikeouts than he has innings pitched is impressive. The strikeout also helped Estrada get him out of some trouble in his last quality start, a 3-1 Blue Jays win over the Baltimore Orioles this past Sunday. Even though Estrada has a higher earned run average (3.30) than Stroman, he has a lower WHIP (1.13) compared to Stroman’s 1.39. While the middle and back end of the Blue Jays starting rotation has been a disaster, the front end is as good as it gets in baseball.