Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Flexing. - USA TODAY Sports

Crossing the border.

Team Canada arrives at The K for a mid-week three game set. The Blue Jays are 12-13 and in third place in the AL East. The Jays have a slightly above average offensive attack. That seems impressive, because compared to the impotent Royals offense, every offense looks above average.

Offense_429_large

On the flip side, their pitching is slightly below league average. They get a ton of strikeouts, but they walk more than their fair share of hitters. Their team walk rate is second worst in the AL. The Royals, who boast one of the better walk rates in the league, have the clear edge here.

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The Jays have a negative run differential, while the Royals - with an offense in shambles - somehow have a positive number. The power of the pitching.

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The Blue Jays feature quite an unbalanced lineup. There are a handful - like Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera - who are off to great starts. Then, there's the rest of the team. From MLB Depth Charts, here's the standard Blue Jays lineup. See if you can spot a familiar name.

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Manager John Gibbons (otherwise known as the former Royals bench coach) has used 22 different lineups in 25 games. There will likely be a new lineup with Chris Getz slated to make his 2014 debut. As Bluebird Banter reported on Monday, Getz is the new man on the roster as Ryan Goins gets shipped to Triple-A. Just in time for to greet his fans in KC. How nice. MLB Depth Charts is assuming Getz will be in a platoon with Jonathan Diaz.

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There's been talk of shuffling the starters in the Royals rotation. For now, Bruce Chen is slated to start on Wednesday with Yordano Ventura on Thursday. It's possible the Royals will skip Chen and push everyone forward a day. That would mean Jeremy Guthrie would start on Thursday.

Really, this makes all kinds of sense. Ventura was the technical "fifth starter" the first week of the season, so his turn was skipped when the Royals had a rainout in Detroit. A month into the season, Ventura isn't the "fifth starter" anymore. Besides, throwing Jason Vargas and Chen on back to back days is monumentally nuts. Think about it.

Since it's not official yet, we're going with the match-ups as listed.

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Not much separates the Toronto rotation from their bullpen.

Split W L W-L% ERA G CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO BF WHIP SO9 SO/W
as Starter 9 8 .529 4.43 25 0 0 0 134.0 137 67 66 12 58 119 587 1.455 8.0 2.05
as Reliever 3 5 .375 4.48 78 0 0 6 88.1 78 47 44 9 50 92 389 1.449 9.4 1.84
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/28/2014.

Sergio Santos is the closer with Steve Delabar and Aaron Loup acting as the set-up tandem.

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The weather forecast calls for highs in the mid-50s for each of the next three days with a chance of rain Tuesday and Wednesday. If you're lucky enough to be headed out to The K, dress warmly.

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