The Toronto Blue Jays will take to the field against the Tampa Bay Rays without their regular third baseman. Ben Nicholson-Smith confirmed that Matt Chapman was getting the day off as the Jays host their first Canada Day celebration north of the border since 2019.
First Canada Day for #BlueJays in Toronto since 2019. Russell Martin throwing out the first pitch today. Stadium will be full. Red jerseys. Berrios on the mound throwing to Kirk. Day off for Chapman.— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) July 1, 2022
Offensively, Chapman’s season isn’t off to a great start; however, the former first-round selection is progressing over his recent sample. Over the past week, Chapman has a .985 on-base plus slugging percentage, with two home runs, five runs batted in, and four runs scored. That has elevated his season benchmarks to .712, 35, and 40, respectively.
Utility infielder Santiago Espinal replaces Chapman at third. Espinal is fifth on the team with a .728 on-base plus slugging percentage, driving in 37 and cashing 28 times.
The Blue Jays took the series opener on Thursday night and enter Friday’s AL East battle as -146 favorites. FanDuel Sportsbook has the total set at 9, with the under juiced to -122.