TNWN: Rays vs Mariners — a series preview, part two

The Rays have gone 4-2 on the homestand and swept the Red Sox in three games. (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

After sweeping the Boston Red Sox, which allowed Tampa Bay to take sole possession of first place in the division, the Rays will look for a little revenge when they welcome the Seattle Mariners into the Trop for a three-game series, starting Monday. The Rays are 4-2 on the homestand, while the Mariners dropped two of three to the Rangers over the weekend.

At 64-42 on the season, the Rays enter play 22-games over .500 and atop the American League East by 1.5 games. Seattle enters the series at 56-60 on the season, eight games back in the American League West and 3.5 games back of the Athletics for the final Wildcard spot.

While Tampa Bay has only the 22nd best team batting average in baseball (.234) and the 13th best slugging percentage (.407), the team has scored the third-most runs in all of baseball. Put differently, they have figured out a way to get a hit when it counts the most, and because of it, the Rays are one of baseball’s best hitting teams with runners on base. 11 of their overall 19 runs against Boston came with two outs, which tends to give credence to that idea.

The Mariners have stumbled a bit of late, resulting in inconsistent play — they have lost three of the last four games after previously winning four straight.

Austin Meadows has been Tampa Bay’s most consistent hitter with 20 home runs (he added two more in the last four days) and a team-leading 76 RBI. Brandon Lowe has 16 doubles, a team-leading 22 homes, and 52 RBI.

It should also be noted that Wander Franco is trending in the right direction, Yandy Díaz has been hot over the last month — slashing .317 BA/.377 OBP/.603 SLG/.980 OPS/.413 wOBA with four homers — Joey Wendle has done, well … Joey Wendle-like things over the same stretch, and Francisco Mejía has been pretty damn good in the batter’s box over his last 41 plate appearances, slashing .289 BA/.341 OBP/.605 SLG/.946 OPS with a .396 wOBA. The Rays have also received countless contributions up and down the lineup. Suffice it to say, this isn’t the same Tampa Bay team that was swept in Seattle, in mid-June.

The Mariners have certainly surprised many, as they are running third in their respective division despite the fact that they have the worst team batting average in baseball at .221. Seattle’s SLG (.383) is only marginally better and ranks in at 26th in baseball. They are in the bottom third of runs scored with 445. Mitch Haniger is Seattle’s offensive leader with 25 home runs, while Kyle Seager has become Seattle’s most consistent hitter with 17 doubles, 22 home runs, and a team-leading 64 RBI. While Seager is averaging only .221, he clearly has made his hits count.

Pitching Probables

Kevin Cash will turn to Michael Wacha (2-2, 4.79 ERA), Luis Patiño (2-2, 4.26 ERA), and Josh Fleming (8-5, 4.15 ERA) the next three days. Scott Servais will counter with Chris Flexen (9-5, 3.81 ERA), Yusei Kikuchi (6-6, 4.01 ERA), and Logan Gilbert (5-2, 4.04 ERA).

Michael Wacha allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk across five innings. He struck out nine — matching his season-high. The right-hander was pulled after just 79 pitches (54 strikes, 68% strike rate), although his nine whiffs also tied his season-high. Wacha didn’t surrender a homer for the first time since June 24 after getting taken deep eight times in his last four turns. On the season, Wacha sports a lowered 4.79 ERA and 4.74 FIP on the season, with a 3.47 K/BB and a 1.30 WHIP across 71.1 frames. In his last start vs. Seattle, the right-hander gave up five runs across 3.2 innings.

Chris Flexen allowed seven runs on nine hits with three strikeouts in four innings on Tuesday against the Astros. Flexen surrendered a Yordan Alvarez three-run homer in the first inning, then allowed four more runs on five hits in the fourth to snap his streak of starts with three runs or fewer. It’s the 27-year-old righty’s second straight loss, though he sports a solid though 3.81 ERA and a 3.72 FIP, to go with a mediocre 1.25 WHIP and low 5.7 K/9 across 108.2 innings. Flexen relies primarily on a 93 mph four-seam fastball and an 89 mph cutter that has extreme cut action, while also mixing in an 83 mph changeup, and a 77 mph curveball that has exceptional bite. Key Matchups: Nelson Cruz (2-4, RBI, BB), Manuel Margot (2-2, 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Joey Wendle (1-1, BB)

Luis Patiño allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight across six scoreless frames on Thursday against the Yankees. Patiño dominated the Yankees lineup throughout the outing and out-pitched Gerrit Cole to earn the win. The right-hander flashed great swing-and-miss stuff, inducing 19 swinging strikes across 97 total pitches. With Rich Hill out of the picture, it’s reasonable to project that Patiño will remain in a starting role. On the season, Patiño has a 4.26 ERA and a 3.66 FIP, with a 1.17 WHIP, and a 3.60 K/BB across 31.2 innings of work.

Yusei Kikuchi was tagged for four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks across five innings on Wednesday against Houston. He struck out seven. Kikuchi didn’t have his best stuff and delivered another subpar outing, as he has now allowed at least three earned runs in each of his last four turns. Even though he has fanned at least seven in three straight outings, the left-hander also owns an inflated 7.71 ERA during that aforementioned four-game stretch. On the season, Kikuchi has a 401 ERA and a 4.40 FIP, with a 1.16 WHIP, and a 3.26 K/BB across 114.1 innings of work. He held the Rays to one run on four hits across seven baffling innings in June, with six punchouts. Key Matchups: Nelson Cruz (4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB), Manuel Margot (2-5, BB), Austin Meadows (1-3)

Josh Fleming allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts across five innings against Boston on Friday. While it wasn’t a pretty performance by any stretch of the imagination, Fleming came up big when he needed to and escaped more than a few self-induced jams. He, and the rest of the relief corps, ultimately stranded nine runners on the basepaths. It was the first time the left-hander completed five innings since June 19, when he posted 6.1 innings against Seattle. Fleming still threw a few too many balls (40 of 99 pitches, 40% ball rate), and he saw his ERA (4.15) and FIP (4.37) inch up to go along with a 1.19 WHIP, and a 2.32 K/BB across 82.1 innings. Even so, it was a gutsy outing and something to build on. The left-hander is 0-0 with a 7.11 ERA against the Mariners this season thanks to a 6.1 IP/5 R/7 H/2 BB outing in June.

Logan Gilbert allowed four runs on six hits and a walk over 5.2 innings Friday against the Rangers. He struck out six. Gilbert worked through three scoreless frames before surrendering a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings. He then served up two solo shots to Adolis Garcia and Jonah Heim in the sixth. Prior to Friday’s outing, the rookie right-hander had gone 22.2 straight innings without giving up a home run. His ERA is now up to 4.04 and his FIP sits at 3.24, with a 1.06 WHIP, and a 5.21 K/BB through 62.1 frames. Gilbert is 0-0 with a 6.35 ERA in one, 5.2 inning start against the Rays this season. He allowed four runs on six hits including two homers in that outing. Key Matchups: Manuel Margot (1-3, HR, RBI), Austin Meadows (1-3), Joey Wendle (2-2, 2B, RBI), Mike Zunino (1-1, HR, 2 RBI)

Noteworthiness

— The team should get news on Chris Archer before the start of the series. The right-hander was to go five innings or 75 pitches in a rehab outing on Sunday, however, he was pulled after 31 pitches and one inning due to left hip soreness. The Rays said Archer couldn’t get his footing on the mound and the move was precautionary.

LBWMF: Rays come back against Boston, 9-5, on Saturday

If you look closely, you can see Francisco Mejía rounding third en route to home after he hit a two-run homer. (Photo Credit: X-Rays Spex)

Another day, another come-from-behind win for the Rays, as Tampa Bay defeated Boston 9-5 on Saturday, in a contest that had all the energy and feel of October baseball. It was their 31st comeback victory of the season, which is second in all of baseball.

At 63-42 on the season, the Rays enter play 21-games above .500 and with sole possession of first place in the division by a half-game. For the first time since August 24, 2013, they are in first place past the 100-game mark.

Looking backward first, Ryan Yarbrough was shaky on Saturday, surrendering five runs on four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four. Two-run homers by Xander Bogaerts (in the first inning) and Bobby Dalbec (in the fifth) accounted for the bulk of the damage off Yarbrough and he hadn’t served up multiple homers in a start since June 3. Yet, taking his last start into consideration, the soft-contact specialist has allowed a steady rain of homers in ’21 — his 1.42 HR/9 is by far the worst of his career. He was able to settle down after the first inning to retire 11 straight batters, giving the Rays a chance to take the lead in the fourth, yet he allowed the game-tying runs in the next frame. Yarbrough maintains a 4.58 ERA and a 4.30 FIP, with a 1.18 WHIP, and a 4.48 K/BB through 114 innings on the season.

Andrew Kittredge followed Yarbrough in the sixth and loaded the bases with one out. He also fell behind Christian Vazquez 3-0, although Kittredge worked his way back to strike out Boston’s backstop on a 96 mph fastball. He then got Dalbec swinging on a 95 mph fastball after a six-pitch at-bat, keeping the game tied at five.

Boston also left the bases full in the seventh, yet the eventual scoreless frame came at a cost to the Rays. Jeffrey Springs, who got the nod in the seventh, suffered a right knee sprain on Rafael Devers’ bunt base hit with a runner on. He was able to walk off the field without needing help, yet Springs is “highly likely” to land on the Injured List according to Rays’ skipper Kevin Cash.

Matt Wisler entered for Springs and got J.D. Martinez to ground weakly to first, which moved the runners up 90 feet. With first base open, Xander Bogaerts was walked intentionally after getting ahead of the count 3-0. Former Ray Hunter Renfroe worked the count to 3-1 before he struck out, ending the threat in heart palpitating fashion. Wisler followed with a perfect eighth.

Offensively, Ji-Man Choi hammered a two-run home run to right field, which cut the Rays’ deficit to a run, in the bottom of the first inning. The long ball followed Brandon Lowe’s lead-off hustle double.

Tampa Bay evened the score in the third thanks to a pair of Boston errors. Lowe grounded into the shift with one out, yet he ultimately reached on the miscue by Jonathan Arauz. Choi followed with a single to right, moving Lowe into third. Nelson Cruz bounced to second, but Arauz bobbled it for another error, tying the game at three.

An inning later, Joey Wendle looped a two-strike single to right-center, before Francisco Mejía crushed a 1-2 fastball to right for a two-run homer two batters later. It was Mejia’s fifth of the season.

The Rays took the lead for the second and final time in the sixth inning after Wendle earned a one-out walk, and Wander Franco lined a triple down the right-field line for the go-ahead lead.

Tampa Bay added some breathing room in the eighth after Austin Meadows doubled off Adam Ottavino and Randy Arozarena was hit by a pitch. With one out, Franco singled to right to put the Rays up by a pair.

Mejía capped the scoring after Austin Davis entered, and wild-pitched the runners to second and third, and the Rays’ catcher singled to center for a 9-5 advantage.

The New What Next

Shane McClanahan (4-4, 3.93 ERA) will get the start Sunday night, pitching opposite of Nick Pivetta (8-4, 4.51 ERA).

Shane McClanahan allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks over six innings against the Yankees on Tuesday. He struck out six. The rookie wasn’t especially sharp, tossing 60 of 89 pitches for strikes (67% strike rate), yet he pitched well enough to earn his third quality start of the season — all of which have come in his last six starts. And while he found his way into a few jams, especially in the first three frames, he also found his way out of them, coaxing a pair of double plays, while also getting a little help from Manuel Margot, who made an outstanding sliding catch in right to end the sixth inning. McClanahan boasts a solid 3.34 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP, and a 3.17 K/BB across 32.1 innings over that six-game stretch.

Nick Pivetta allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three across 4.2 innings against Toronto on Monday. The right-hander allowed four runs or more for the fourth time in his last five starts, and Monday was the third time in that span he’s failed to complete five frames. Pivetta’s inconsistency has led to a 4.51 ERA and a 4.31 FIP, with a 1.34 WHIP, and 2.5 K/BB through 107.2 innings this season. Even so, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two shutout starts against the Rays this season. Key Matchup: Randy Arozarena (1-4, BB)

You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.

Rays 8/1/21 Starting Lineup

  1. Lowe 2B
  2. Meadows LF
  3. Cruz DH
  4. Choi 1B
  5. Díaz 3B
  6. Franco SS
  7. Margot RF
  8. Kiermaier CF
  9. Zunino C
  10. McClanahan LHP

Noteworthiness

— The Rays have won four consecutive games against the Red Sox after dropping the first four meetings and look to sweep the three-game set tonight.

— The Rays placed LHP Jeffrey Springs on the 10-day Injured List with a right knee sprain and recalled RHP DJ Johnson from the Durham Bulls.

An MRI on Springs’ knee revealed the best of all possibilities given the circumstances, and he is confident he can return in two-to-four weeks.

— Collin McHugh (arm fatigue) threw a bullpen session this afternoon and said he felt great afterward. “Today was a good day.”

McHugh told Steve Carney (St. Pete Nine) he hopes this will be a quick return to action, but says there are other aspects he’s not in control of that will determine that. He said he’ll be on the next road trip (BAL, BOS, MIN), but isn’t sure when/if he’ll be active.

— Chris Archer is expected to get stretched out to 75 – 90 pitches or five innings, whichever comes first, with Durham today.

Rays 7/31/21 pregame notes; Glasnow update

Big RAAAAAAAANDY Arozarena clubbed one of the Rays three homers last night.

After clubbing three home runs on Friday, en route to a 7-3 win over Boston, the Tampa Bay Rays can move into first place in the division with a win this afternoon.

At 62-42 on the season, the Rays enter play 20 games over .500, and trail Boston by just a half-game. While Tampa Bay is 3-4 against the Red Sox this season, the Rays have won the last three contests between the two. They are also 25-8 in the last 33 games at the Trop.

Josh Fleming allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts across five innings against Boston on Friday. While it wasn’t a pretty performance by any stretch of the imagination, Fleming came up big when he needed to and escaped more than a few self-induced jams. He, and the rest of the relief corps, ultimately stranded nine runners on the basepaths. It was the first time the left-hander completed five innings since June 19, when he posted 6.1 innings against Seattle. Fleming still threw a few too many balls (40 of 99 pitches, 40% ball rate), and he saw his ERA (4.15) and FIP (4.37) inch up to go along with a 1.19 WHIP, and a 2.32 K/BB across 82.1 innings. Even so, it was a gutsy outing and something to build on.

Kevin Cash also turned to right-hander JT Chargois — who was acquired Thursday in the trade involving Diego Castillo — in the seventh inning. Chargois looked good, throwing 12 total pitches (nine strikes, 75% strike rate) while coaxing two weak grounders from Xander Boegarts (69.8 mph off the bat) and J.D. Martinez (67 mph off the bat), and a swinging strikeout of Hunter Renfroe on an 88 mph zone that ended up well off the plate. Of his 12 total pitches, Chargois threw seven sliders and coaxed two whiffs.

Tampa Bay found the power stroke once again, punching six extra-base hits (three homers, two doubles, and a triple) while scoring five two-out runs.

Yandy Díaz struck early, launching a two-run shot to left field that brought in Austin Meadows, giving the team a two-run lead in the first. Díaz now has seven homers and a .260 BA/.345 OBP/.480 SLG/.825 OPS with a .352 wOBA in 139 plate appearances since June 5. Compare that to no homers and a .253 BA/.386 OBP/.291 SLG/.677 OPS line with a .317 wOBA across 223 plate appearances prior to June 5.

Up 4-2 in the fourth, Mike Zunino belted a solo shot to right field, extending the Rays lead to three. It was Gator Mike’s 20th home run of the season and his first oppo-taco.

Later in the frame, Randy Arozarena destroyed a ball to left field, extending the lead to four runs.

All told, Tampa Bay went 1-for-4 wRISP and stranded two runners on the basepaths.

The New What Next

Ryan Yarbrough (6-4, 4.38 ERA) will get the start for the Rays this afternoon, pitching opposite of former Ray, Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.49 ERA).

Ryan Yarbrough allowed just one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six across seven innings in Cleveland on Sunday. Yarbrough got his only real mistake out of the way early, as Cesar Hernandez took him deep to lead off the game. Yet he tightened things up and was excellent the rest of the way in his first quality start since June 27. Yarbrough lowered his ERA to 4.38 and his FIP to 4.16, with a 1.19 WHIP, and a 4.5 K/BB across 109 innings. He is 0-1 with a 14.14 ERA in two outings (one start) against Boston this season.

Nathan Eovaldi allowed two earned runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out eight across 7.2 innings on Saturday against New York. Eovaldi held the Yankees scoreless through seven innings but ran into trouble in the eighth when he allowed a leadoff double prior to a run-scoring single. When he was pulled from the game, he was staked to a 3-1 lead, yet the bullpen blew his lead and the game by allowing three additional runs to cross the plate in the frame. Even so, Eovaldi was excellent and racked up 22 called strikes and 14 swinging strikes on 100 total pitches. He has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last 10 starts — six of which he allowed one or no earned runs. For the season, the former Ray maintains a 3.49 ERA and a 2.48 FIP, with a 1.18 WHIP, and a 5.43 K/BB across 116 innings. He is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in one start against the Rays this season. Key Matchups: Ji-Man Choi (3-10, 2B, RBI), Nelson Cruz (2-6, 2B, HR, RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (3-11, 3B, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Manuel Margot (1-4), Austin Meadows (6-12, 2 2B, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, BB), Francisco Mejía (1-3, 2B), Joey Wendle (5-9, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BB)

You can read about the series in our preview, as well as Noteworthiness and the starting lineup below.

Rays 7/31/21 Starting Lineup

  1. B. Lowe 2B
  2. Choi 1B
  3. Cruz DH
  4. Meadows LF
  5. Arozarena RF
  6. Wendle 3B
  7. Franco SS
  8. Kiermaier C
  9. Mejía C
  10. Yarbrough LHP

Noteworthiness

— Tyler Glasnow’s bullpen session reportedly didn’t go well on Friday. He will meet with Dr. Meister next week to see where they go from here. Per Jeff Passan (ESPN), Tommy John surgery could be recommended, but nothing is official yet. While there’s a “small chance” doctors will find a path toward rehab rather than surgery, Glasnow would miss most or all of 2022 if he ultimately undergoes the procedure.

Tyler spoke with Tricia Whitaker (Bally Sports), and suggested that it was only a matter of time before he would undergo a procedure on his elbow.

I realized there was no way I could go out there and pitch with this kind of pain. I see a doctor Tuesday, if they see something different, I’m open but all the signs are leading to surgery. I’ll see what he says Tuesday. I knew I was gonna get it eventually. It was to the point where I had to ask, Do I come back and try to do it in postseason? They have seen it’s a tear. I’m going into the appointment on Tuesday thinking surgery will happen.

– Tyler Glasnow

— The Rays can tie the season series against Boston with a win today. A victory would also give them a .670 WP% in the month of July.

— Tampa Bay could make a roster move today, potentially recalling reliever D.J. Johnson — one of the players acquired at the trade deadline. The Rays used four relievers on Friday night, all for one inning apiece.

Rays acquire three players at the trade deadline

OF Jordan Luplow was one of the three players acquired by the Rays at the deadline today.

After acquiring Nelson Cruz last week and JT Chargois last night, the Tampa Bay Rays made a couple of inauspicious deals this afternoon at the deadline, trading for OF Jordan Luplow and RHP DJ Johnson from Cleveland in exchange for minor league RHP Peyton Battenfield. They also acquired minor league pitcher Shawn Armstrong from Baltimore for cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitchers Sean Poppen and Jake Reed were designated for assignment. Armstrong is not on the 40-man roster and will report to Durham.

Jordan Luplow

The Rays addressed one of their most glaring weaknesses today, as Luplow is a lefty killer. The outfielder owns a career .251 BA/.371 OBP/.556 SLG/.927 OPS line with a 145 wRC+ and 21 HR in 334 career plate appearances against southpaws. Luplow is an average defensive corner outfielder with three additional years of control, and while it is unclear how he would fit on the roster at this very moment, in the present tense, although he has a minor league option while rosters expand in September when he presumably will be called up. To be sure, he is a valuable bench/platoon piece to have down the stretch in an American League pennant race given the glut of good left-handed hurlers.

DJ Johnson

DJ Johnson was recalled by the Rays on Sunday in the wake of Jeffrey Springs’ knee injury.

Johnson is back with his original ballclub, as the Rays signed him as an undrafted free agent in June 2010. He, however, was released the following April and be picked up by an Independent League team. After being released shortly thereafter, he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks later that Summer. He also spent some time in Denver, with the Rockies.

Johnson pitched in one big league game for Cleveland this season, ironically against the Rays, and he posted respectable results in Triple-A, performing to a 3.32 ERA and a 3.75 FIP, with a 34.0 K%, a 3.18 K/BB, and a 1.62 WHIP across 21.2 innings pitched. The right-hander boasts a mid-90s fastball with plus ride, on which he posted a 70% whiff rate this season, as well as a 12-6 curveball with 58.3 inches of vertical movement, and 10.7 inches of horizontal movement. It’s another example of the big stuff/shaky command type of pitcher that the Rays think they can work with and get more out of.

Conclusion

While Rays fans are likely angry because the team didn’t net a big name like Kris Bryant or a Craig Kimbrel, it should be remembered that they have made their fair share of acquisitions over the span of the season. Furthermore, Nick Anderson is slated to throw for the Bulls in the near future and is close to returning. Tyler Glasnow threw his first bullpen session today, since being injured, and he should be back sooner than later. Collin McHugh also threw a bullpen session today and is the closest among the injured relievers to returning. Brendan McKay and Chris Archer are close to being ready, while Brent Honeywell Jr. is locked and loaded, and Shane Baz could play a crucial role with the team after the Olympics. In other words, they are re-loading organically.

TNWN: Rays vs. Red Sox — a series preview, part three

The look of a man that just crushed his first career grand slam. (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

After dropping two out of three to the Yankees — yet ending a three-game set on a 14-0 high note — the Tampa Bay Rays welcome the Boston Red Sox into the Trop for an important three-game series that kicks off Friday. The Red Sox are coming off a series split against the Blue Jays.

At 61-42 on the season, the Rays enter play 19-games above .500 and 1.5 games back of the Red Sox in the division. They also maintain a 3.5 game lead on the Athletics for the top AL Wildcard spot.

Tampa Bay looked awful in the first two games of the series against New York, scoring just four total runs while going 3-for-14 wRISP (.214 BA). This, after the Rays won five of the last seven contests. Yet, something clicked against Gerrit Cole in the series finale, and they again incurred damage against the right-hander, tagging him for four runs before he could even get an out in the opening frame, and eight runs total (seven earned). They chased the right-hander after just 5.1 innings. The Rays went on to plate 10 runs in the sixth inning en route to the biggest shutout in franchise history. The Rays not only went 4-for-8 wRISP in the contest, but they also mashed four homers against New York including Brett Phillips’ first career grand slam. Austin Meadows led Tampa Bay with two home runs and five RBI in the rout, giving him 20 homers and a team-best 76 RBI on the season. Cole is now 1-3 with a 5.11 ERA against the Rays in 2021.

Meanwhile, after splitting a doubleheader with Toronto on Tuesday — both contests boasted a 4-1 margin — Boston was thumped by the Blue Jays in the series finale, 13-1. The Red Sox were limited to just 2.75 runs per game over the life of the series and hit just .211 wRISP while allowing seven two-out runs.

The Rays have been strong all around, and they rank third in baseball with 46 defensive runs saved, fifth in scoring with just under five runs per game, and fourth with 61 stolen bases.

Brandon Lowe leads the team with 22 long balls and is second on the club with 52 RBI. Slugger Nelson Cruz is batting .274 with 21 home runs and 52 RBI on the season, while Mike Zunino is just behind him with 19 homers and 38 RBI.

The Red Sox are fourth in baseball, scoring five runs per game, second in slugging at a .441 SLG, and fourth with a .257 batting average. Even so, they have hovered around league average over the last two weeks, performing to a 100 wRC+ and a 3.1 wRAA.

Still, Rafael Devers is a dangerous player who leads the team with a 3.7 WAR, 27 home runs, and 82 RBI, while J.D Martinez boasts 20 home runs and 65 RBI. While Bost made a huge trade for All-Star outfielder Kyle Schwarber on Thursday, he is currently on the Injured List and should be out for some time.

While Tampa Bay is just 2-4 against Boston this season, those two wins came at home from June 22-24.

Pitching Probables

Kevin Cash will turn to Josh Fleming (7-5, 4.07 ERA), Ryan Yarbrough (6-4, 4.38 ERA), and Shane McClanahan (4-4, 3.93 ERA) over the next three days. Alex Cora will counter with Martin Perez (7-6, 4.18 ERA), Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.49 ERA), and Nick Pivetta (8-4, 4.51 ERA).

Josh Fleming allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while fanning one across four innings against Cleveland on Friday. The left-hander hasn’t completed five innings in any of his last four turns, hasn’t tossed a quality start since May 1, and has allowed crooked numbers in each of his last two outings (and three of his last five) after holding Cleveland hitless on July 7. The southpaw has performed to a 4.07 ERA and a 4.56 FIP, with a 1.14 WHIP, and a 2.33 K/BB across 77.1 innings on the season.

Martin Perez allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts across six innings on Sunday against the Yankees. It was the 30-year-old’s first quality start since June 3 and also the first time he’s completed six innings in that span. On the season, Perez has a 4.18 ERA and a 4.49 FIP, with a 1.47 WHIP, and a 2.5 K/BB across 94.2 innings (20 starts). He is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in one start against the Rays this season. Key Matchups: Randy Arozarena (2-6), Nelson Cruz (9-30, 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB), Yandy Díaz (5-17, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB), Brandon Lowe (2-6, 2 RBI, BB), Mike Zunino (7-24, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB)

Ryan Yarbrough allowed just one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six across seven innings in Cleveland on Sunday. Yarbrough got his only real mistake out of the way early, as Cesar Hernandez took him deep to lead off the game. Yet he tightened things up and was excellent the rest of the way in his first quality start since June 27. Yarbrough lowered his ERA to 4.38 and his FIP to 4.16, with a 1.19 WHIP, and a 4.5 K/BB across 109 innings. He is 0-1 with a 14.14 ERA in two outings (one start) against Boston this season.

Nathan Eovaldi allowed two earned runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out eight across 7.2 innings on Saturday against New York. Eovaldi held the Yankees scoreless through seven innings but ran into trouble in the eighth when he allowed a leadoff double prior to a run-scoring single. When he was pulled from the game, he was staked to a 3-1 lead, yet the bullpen blew his lead and the game by allowing three additional runs to cross the plate in the frame. Even so, Eovaldi was excellent and racked up 22 called strikes and 14 swinging strikes on 100 total pitches. He has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last 10 starts — six of which he allowed one or no earned runs. For the season, the former Ray maintains a 3.49 ERA and a 2.48 FIP, with a 1.18 WHIP, and a 5.43 K/BB across 116 innings. He is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in one start against the Rays this season. Key Matchups: Ji-Man Choi (3-10, 2B, RBI), Nelson Cruz (2-6, 2B, HR, RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (3-11, 3B, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Manuel Margot (1-4), Austin Meadows (6-12, 2 2B, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, BB), Francisco Mejía (1-3, 2B), Joey Wendle (5-9, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BB)

Shane McClanahan allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks over six innings against the Yankees on Tuesday. He struck out six. The rookie wasn’t especially sharp, tossing 60 of 89 pitches for strikes (67% strike rate), yet he pitched well enough to earn his third quality start of the season — all of which have come in his last six starts. And while he found his way into a few jams, especially in the first three frames, he also found his way out of them, coaxing a pair of double plays, while also getting a little help from Manuel Margot, who made an outstanding sliding catch in right to end the sixth inning. McClanahan boasts a solid 3.34 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP, and a 3.17 K/BB across 32.1 innings over that six-game stretch.

Nick Pivetta allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three across 4.2 innings against Toronto on Monday. The right-hander allowed four runs or more for the fourth time in his last five starts, and Monday was the third time in that span he’s failed to complete five frames. Pivetta’s inconsistency has led to a 4.51 ERA and a 4.31 FIP, with a 1.34 WHIP, and 2.5 K/BB through 107.2 innings this season. Even so, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two shutout starts against the Rays this season. Key Matchup: Randy Arozarena (1-4, BB)