• Ben

7/2 Blue Jays-Rays Series Preview

The Toronto Blue Jays are hosting the Tampa Bay Rays tonight for the beginning of a three-game series. The Rays currently lead the season series 5-2.

Starting Pitchers

Friday: TBD vs. Alek Manoah (1-0, 3.34 ERA)

Saturday: Shane McClanahan (3-2, 4.09 ERA) vs. Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.27 ERA)

Sunday: TBD vs. Robbie Ray (6-3, 3.43 ERA)

Alek Manoah is taking the mound for the Blue Jays in game one of this series. He has had a strong start through his first 6 MLB games, and looks to continue pitching well. Last game, against the Baltimore Orioles, Manoah pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 0 earned runs. He has not yet faced the Rays in his MLB career, so it will be interesting to see how Manoah attacks the Rays hitters and how effective he is against a good team. In game 2, the Rays will face Ross Stripling, who has been pitching much better recently. Since May 24, Stripling has pitched 40.1 innings and has only given up 11 runs. In his 1 game against Tampa Bay this year, he went 7 shutout innings giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts. Hopefully, he is able to continue his hot streak and baffle the Rays hitters once again. Robbie Ray will be pitching for the Jays in the series finale and he has also been very strong this year. He has only given up 4 or more earned runs in 2 out of his 15 starts this year, and has a WHIP of 1.12. He has faced the Rays twice this year. In his first start against them, he went 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs and tallying 9 strikeouts. In his second start, Ray really figured out the Rays hitters and threw 7 innings, giving up only 1 earned run. We will see if he can toss another great game and put the Jays in position to win.

The only announced starter so far for the Rays is Shane McClanahan, who is taking the mound against Ross Stripling. McClanahan is a rookie and has had a decent start to his career, with a 4.09 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 10.8 K/9. He did not have an amazing June, raising his ERA 0.82 points since the end of May. However, in his one start against the Jays this year, McClanahan went 5 innings, giving up only 1 earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks. We will see if he can get back on track, or if the Jays will figure him out the second time around.

Recent Play

The Blue Jays are 41-38 and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They are 3rd in the AL East, and are coming off a series loss to the Seattle Mariners.

The Rays are 47-34 and just 4-6 in their last 10 games. They are 2nd in the AL East and have lost 3 in a row, including getting swept by the Nationals in a 2-game series.

Players to Watch

Ross Stripling, as I said before, has been pitching very well recently, lowering his ERA from 5.11 to 4.27 since the start of June. He is turning into a high-quality starter and we will see how he is able to handle a good Tampa Bay team.

Manuel Margot is hitting .375 in 16 at bats with 2 home runs in his career against Ross Stripling. Assuming Margot will play on Saturday against Stripling, this will be an interesting matchup. Margot is also the only Rays hitter with more than 6 at bats against Ross Stripling for their career, so we will see if Margot continues to see Stripling well.

Head-to-Head Record

The Rays lead the season series 5-2.