Game 33 Lineups and Outlook
Tonight the Tampa Bay Rays will return to dome, sweet, dome to kick off a series with the friend that mom doesn’t approve of, the Oakland Athletics. We’re two peas in a pod as small market teams with terrible stadiums and small, rabid fanbases. Both sects are accustomed to fiscally conservative owners that are forced by the circumstances of modern revenue collection to spin players off just as they become comfortable. I wish no ill will upon the Athletics as they are what I see up upon reflection in the calm, glassy creek. Unfortunately, for a few days, they must die.
The man named after a profitable mineral site will take on one of the many mid-rotation pitchers that the Rays feature. Jake Odorizzi looks to continue to limit the damage while out-pitching his peripherals. Eyeballing these wOBA expectations leads me to believe that tonight would be a good night to right the ship. The A’s offense looks abysmal, though a lot of that is Hodor and the Trop. Flip over to the other side and you see some promising bats at the top with very little expected from the bottom of the order. This means the Rays will need to make hay when the sun shines, because as the lineup flips over it is likely to capsize any rally. This feels like the team giving Desmond Jennings enough rope to hang himself, but perhaps the team just wants to be able to pinch hit there in the event of an early go to the bullpen from the A’s. If so, I don’t see too many amazing options once we account for the pinch hit penalty: