The first place sharing, sweep disrupting, 32-25 Tampa Bay Rays will take on the 31-26 Miami Marlins tonight in the first game of a three game set in the Carnival Cruise Lines of a stadium, Marlins Park. Tampa Bay is coming off of a huge victory against the Yankees, where they scored seven times more runs in that game than they did in the first two games combined.
Jeremy Hellickson (3-2, 3.06 ERA) will take the mound against Ricky Nolasco (5-3, 4.48 ERA). Hellickson is coming off of a great start against Baltimore, where he posted a 6.2 IP/4 H/1 ER/1 BB/8 K line. He, Sadly, found a tally in the “L” column for the simple fact that he got absolutely no run support. The Rays will attempt to continue last night’s hot hitting on the heels of their 10 hit, seven run offensive explosion last night. Who better to do that against, than Ricky Nolasco?
Of Ricky Nolasco, Dirk Hayhurst said it best:
Expect the Rays to beat the Marlins like a drum today. Hellickson is finding his groove, and Nolasco, historically, throws BP for the Rays. Marlins fans will enjoy watching Hellickson (try) hit. Hopefully he wont be to distracted by the Pokemon stadium colors to get the bunt down.
Well said, Garfoose. Nolasco has posted a 0-3 17.36 ERA/25 H/18 R/18 ER/5 H/3 BB/4 K/.490 BAA line in 9.1 innings of work, in his last three starts against Tampa Bay. What’s more, the Rays have a .270 BA/.324 OBP/.524 SLG/.848 OPS against Nolasco. Also working in the Rays favor is Nolasco’s 5.79 ERA at home, and 5.14 ERA so far in the month of June.
Don’t expect to see Luke Scott at all in this series…that is unless he gets a little playing time at first base. Rays starting lineup is below. As always, Let’s Go Rays!