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Phillies at Blue Jays double header preview

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the Blue Jays are playing their home games at Buffalo's Sahlen Field, the home of Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, the Bisons.  They'll host the Phillies for a double header on Thursday afternoon.

Here's a quick rundown of the pitching match ups and some other key notes from this pairing.

Game 1, 1:05PM.  Spencer Howard (0-1, 7.88 ERA) vs. Chase Anderson (0-0, 3.00 ERA).  Howard, a righty, was the Phils' 2nd round draft selection out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo back in 2017.  In two MLB starts to date, the rookie Howard, who entered the past two seasons as the Phillies' top prospect, has notched six strike outs and three walks over eight innings.  The right-handed Anderson joined the Blue Jays this year after spending the last four seasons with the Brewers.  In six career starts against the Phils, Anderson has a 1-3 record, a 6.75 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.  Jay Bruce is 1-for-18 (.067 avg) in his career against Anderson.  

Game 2.  Vince Velasquez (0-0, 7.88 ERA) vs. Trent Thornton (0-0, 2.25 ERA).  Velasquez allowed two earned runs over five innings during his lone career start against Toronto.  In 67 road outings, Velasquez has a 4.67 ERA.  Thornton, a right-hander, last pitched on July 27th, missing time due to elbow inflammation.  The 26-year-old was a 5th round draft pick of the Astros in 2015.  He was acquired by the Jays in 2018 in a trade for Aledmys Diaz.  Didi Gregorius is 1-for-2 with a home run against Thornton. 

In five career games against the Blue Jays, catcher J.T. Realmuto is a .400 hitter with a home run and two RBI.  

Outfielder Bryce Harper sports a .361 batting average with a homer and three RBI in nine career games against Toronto.  Harper's .349 batting average this year ranks fifth best in the National League.

Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. posted a .221/.294/.390 slash line through 20 games this season. 

Shortstop Bo Bichette, who ranks second in the American League in batting average with a .361 mark, is out of action, as a knee sprain has landed him on the injured list.  

The Phillies rank second in MLB in team OPS with an .807 mark while the Blue Jays rank 12th at .750.

The Blue Jays rank 6th in MLB with a 3.88 ERA while the Phils' 5.56 mark is 27th in the majors.  

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