Tijuana Toros Series Preview: Bulls Host Buccaneers at Estadio Gasmart to End Homestand
The Tijuana Toros just won two out of three games against Olmecas de Tabasco at the Estadio Gasmart and will host another very beatable opponent this weekend in Piratas de Campeche.
The series will run through the weekend at the Estadio Gasmart as it starts this Friday and will end on Sunday. The Border City Bulls’ offense did standout in this previous series against Tabasco as it scored 11 runs on Thursday night and 15 on Tuesday. The pitching for Pedro Mere was also outstanding as it only allowed a maximum of three runs in a game in that three-game set.
The bullpen was a massive concern before this series against Tabasco, but it also came together as they only allowed a run in nine and a third innings against Los Cabezones. The Toros are underperforming currently with a 9-9 record, but are still tied for second place in the LMB Zona Norte division. A series win against Campeche would ensure that Tijuana would go back on the road with a record over the .500 mark.
Piratas de Campeche is a very beatable opponent, currently joint-last in the LMB Zona Sur division with a 7-11 record.
The Bucs did just win their latest series against Saraperos de Saltillo, but do have an uninspiring 3-6 record away from home. The southern Mexican team does have some talented players on its roster, but it does not compare to Tijuana’s squad. Campeche will clearly be looking to win some games, but it may be an arduous task against the Toros at the Estadio Gasmart.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Aldo Montes (1-2 2.50 ERA) vs Manny Barreda (0-0 12.27 ERA) Friday, April 13, 2018, 7:35 P.M. PST
Mario Gonzalez (1-1 4.08 ERA) vs Hector Galvan (0-3 8.44 ERA) Saturday, April 14, 2018, 7:35 P.M. PST
Rolando Valdez (2-1 4.34 ERA) vs Alex Sanabia (2-1 6.00 ERA) Sunday, April 15, 2018, 6:00 P.M. PST
It seems like Campeche actually has the advantage when it comes to the pitching matchups, but the numbers do not tell the whole story on Tijuana’s hurlers. The opening matchup of the series between Aldo Montes and Manny Barreda could be one of the more enticing duels of the three-game set. Montes is a native of Tijuana and has been having an outstanding season so far as he has only allowed five earned runs in 18 innings of work. In his last start against Monterrey, Montes only allowed two earned runs in six innings and inclusively struck out eight batters as well. Barreda is not off to an ideal start in 2018, but he still has that potential to shine as he threw a no-hitter last year against Olmecas de Tabasco.
The Arizona native is still part of the Atlanta Braves’ organization and is currently with the Toros to keep up his rhythm as he did not make the Gwinnett Stripers’ starting rotation. Barreda allowed three earned runs through three and a third innings in his last start and will be looking to bounce back. The other duel that does have some serious potential is on Sunday night between Rolando Valdez and Alex Sanabia. Valdez has only allowed a maximum of three runs in a start this season while Alex Sanabia has won his last two games. The San Diego native allowed two runs through five and a third innings against Olmecas de Tabasco in his last start and will look to continue his winning streak.
Players to Watch
The Venezuelan outfielder is the leadoff man in Campeche’s lineup and is off to a tremendous start this season. Marquez is hitting .339 with two home runs, 12 RBI, and five stolen bases and will need to be contained by Tijuana’s pitchers at the top of Campeche’s batting order.
Leon still has the highest batting average on the team (.512) and he is still batting ninth in Pedro Mere’s lineup. The Mexico City native just had a tremendous series against Tabasco as he went 5-for-10 with seven RBI in that three-game set and he should be one of the players to keep a close eye on in this series.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. 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 local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.