After a 10-3 shellacking against Baltimore on Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to snap their most recent three-game skid this afternoon.
At 58-53 on the season, the Rays enter play just five games over .500 and a half-game behind Baltimore for the final playoff spot.
The Rays not only allowed 10 runs last night, but they also scored three runs or fewer for the 13th time in 19 post-All-Star Break contests. Tampa Bay has now given up double-digit runs twice at home this season, with April 11th being the previous instance (vs Oakland).
The Rays will have Yu Chang leading off this afternoon. Chang has been a revelation for the team since his mid-July acquisition, posting an 82nd percentile xwOBA since July 15, while his .449 xwOBA in the month of August ranks ninth in all of baseball. Since the All-Star Break, Chang has slashed .310 BA/.375 OBP/.517 SLG/.892 OPS with a .207 ISO (thanks to a pair of homers) and a 162 wRC+. It’s no wonder Kevin Cash opted to lead off with an offensive producer this afternoon; you know, given that Ji-Man Choi has posted a 3 wRC+ since the break, while the newest outfielders — David Peralta and José Siri — have been sub-optimal thus far, putting up an 85 and 26 wRC+ (respectively) since the break.
The New What Next
Shane McClanahan (10-5, 2.24 ERA) will get the start this afternoon, pitching opposite DL Hall (2-6, 4.76 ERA at Triple-A).
Shane McClanahan gave up four earned runs on six hits and no walks while striking out three over 6.1 innings against the Tigers on Saturday. McClanahan was cruising on his way to another quality start but got into some trouble in the seventh inning when each of the first two batters collected a hit. Rays manager Kevin Cash decided to go to the bullpen after McClanahan gave up a sac-fly to Jonathan Schoop in the next at-bat. McClanahan was then tagged with another earned run after leaving the game. The southpaw has now given up nine earned runs over his past two starts raising his ERA to 2.24 and his FIP to 2.61, with a 0.83 WHIP, and a 7.00 K/BB across 128.1 frames. He is 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two starts against Baltimore this season.
DL Hall is a top 100 prospect and a former first-round draft pick. While Hall’s record and ERA for Triple-A Norfolk aren’t the prettiest, he struck out 114 batters in 70 innings while also walking 44. Most recently, the left-hander allowed two runs in 5.1 innings in his last start against Nashville. Overall, he maintains a 4.76 ERA and 4.04 FIP (but, a 3.58 xFIP) at Triple-A, with a 1.49 WHIP, and a 2.59 K/BB. Hall relies primarily on a whiffy 98 mph four-seam fastball and an 89 mph slider that sweeps across the zone, while also mixing in a firm 85 mph changeup, and an 81 mph curveball that has a sharp downward bite and has slight glove-side movement.
You can read about the series in our (inaccurate to a point) series preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 8/13/22 Starting Lineup
- Chang 2B
- Diaz DH
- Arozarena LF
- Paredes 2B
- Mejia C
- Bethancourt 1B
- Siri CF
- Quinn RF
- Walls SS
— Manuel Margot, who is expected to rejoin the team on August 20, will resume his rehab process with Triple-A Durham tonight. Margot played two games in the Florida Complex League before the move. Meanwhile, Nick Anderson threw a scoreless frame for the Bulls last night.