After a stinging 10-9 loss against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce back and win the series Tonight. The Rays have won 11 of 13 and still maintain a 1/2 game lead over the Athletics in the AL Wildcard race.
Cleveland starts the day a game back as both teams (Cleveland and Oakland) won their respective contests last night. The Rays can make up ground on both teams with a win tonight. The Athletics will play one last game in Houston against Justin Verlander, while Cleveland has the night off.
FanGraphs gives Tampa Bay a reduced 71.4% chance of a postseason berth (down 12.4% over yesterday), while Baseball Prospectus gives them an even more favorable, albeit reduced, 85.2% chance of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Expect reinforcements. Avisail Garcia (glute strain) and Tommy Pham (elbow/forearm tightness) are back in right and left field, respectively, tonight with a southpaw on the mound.
The New What Next
Brendan McKay (2-3, 5.05 ERA) will get the start for the Rays tonight, pitching opposite of Kolby Allard (4-0, 3.78 ERA).
Brendan McKay struck out seven and allowed just one hit across 3-2/3 scoreless frames on 59 pitches (37 strikes, 63% strike rate). The 23-year-old didn’t pitch deeply enough to capture the win, yet he was impressive, fanning seven of the 12 batters he faced, and retiring nine consecutive batters before he exited the ballgame. The outing snaps a cold spell for the left-hander, although he is still 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA.
Kolby Allard gave up one earned run on eight hits across 6-1/3 innings against the Orioles, while striking out two and walking two. Locked in a pitcher’s duel with John Means, Allard got the better of it despite having to work his way around 10 baserunners. The 22-year-old lowered his ERA to 3.78, to go along with a 1.38 WHIP and a 2.64 K/BB across 33-1/3 big-league innings on the season. Allard relies primarily on a four-seam fastball natural sinking action and an 88 mph worm-burner cutter, while also mixing in an 81 mph changeup.
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 9/12/19 Starting Lineup
- Garcia CF
- Meadows RF
- Pham LF
- Choi 1B
- Aguilar DH
- Duffy 3B
- Wendle 2B
- Robertson SS
- Zunino C
— Blake Snell will throw two innings or 30 pitches (whichever comes first) for Triple-A Durham tonight. If all goes well, his next appearance could be for Tampa Bay when they face the Dodgers in Los Angeles.