After a rain lengthened 5-2 win over the Orioles last night, the Tampa Bay Rays will look to win their third consecutive ballgame Friday night. The Rays enter play in a virtual tie with Oakland for the top Wildcard spot, and 1/2 game ahead of Cleveland for the final postseason spot. The Athletics swept their series against the Yankees while Cleveland was swept by the Mets.
Per FanGraphs, the Rays start the day with a 65% chance of a postseason berth. Baseball Prospectus gives them a more favorable 77.7% chance of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Avisail Garcia (oblique) played in a rehab game with Triple-A Durham yesterday, going 2-for-3. He’s expected to be activated tomorrow when eligible.
The New What Next
Trevor Richards (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will make his second appearance and start for the Rays, pitching opposite of Ty Blach (0-1, 12.06 ERA).
Trevor Richards allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over 3-1/3 innings on Sunday. The right-hander surrendered a two-run homer in the first inning, yet he was able to hold Detroit off the board for the remainder of his outing. He was lifted with 71 pitches (51 strikes, 72% strike rate), as the Rays continue to build him back up to a starting role. Richards now owns a 4.53 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP with a 2.10 K/BB across 115-1/3 big league innings this season.
Ty Blach allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts across 5-1/3 innings against the Red Sox on Sunday. Baltimore staked Blach to a six-run lead, but the Red Sox scored 13 of the final 14 runs in the game, five of which came against Blach. He has allowed at least five runs in three of his four outings this season, so that’s led to some ugly numbers. He is 0-1 with a 12.06 ERA and a 2.30 WHIP with 13 strikeouts and 10 walks across 15-2/3 innings this season. Blach relies upon a heavy 90 mph four-seam fastball with arm-side run and an 80 mph changeup with natural sink, while also mixing in a 76 mph curveball with sharp downward bite and an 83 mph worm-killer slider.
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 8/23/19 Starting Lineup
- Duffy 3B
- Pham LF
- Meadows DH
- Aguilar 1B
- Adames SS
- Brosseau 2B
- Kiermaier CF
- Heredia RF
- Zunino C
— As I wrote yesterday, neither Brandon Lowe nor Yandy Diaz will be returning this season from their respective injuries.
— The Rays have reinstated Anthony Banda from 60-day IL (his thrice-extended rehab was up) and optioned him to Triple-A Durham, where he was rehabbing. To make room on the 40-man roster for Banda, INF Brandon Lowe was placed on the 60-day Injured List. Lowe has been out since July 3, and likely done for the season, so the move doesn’t impact him.