Game 44 Lineups and Outlook
The Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins will be taking their home-and-home series northward to one of the seven scenic wonders of St. Pete. Of course I’m referring to that shining emerald known as Tropicana Field. Once and future home of your Rays. These two teams just split the first two games of the series, though it sure felt like the Rays should have taken both of them. Getting that feeling quite a bit, which means they’re in every game, but also that they haven’t always been able to finish. Here’s what tonight brings:
Nicolino is a bad pitcher. Like really bad. He has walked more guys, 7.3%, than he has struck out this year, 6.8%. Which isn’t, well, actually, that’s pretty much everything. He’s not good. The Rays need to show that to him tonight, because they have made a habit of toasting bad pitching. Going for the Rays is Matt Andriese who matches up pretty well with the Marlins, especially if you take out Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton. This could be an opportunity to really build some confidence for Andriese as he seeks to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the old Maddon’s Hierarchy of Mental Status. Vegas actually sees the Rays as even more of a favorite than the system meaning there isn’t much value there. Here’s a look at the bullpens:
Note that Tim Beckham was sent down prior to tonight’s game to make room for right-handed relief pitcher Ryan Garton. Garton has worked hard to put prior control issues behind him this year in AAA Durham, but he has almost always made the strikeout his blade of choice. I have no idea what he throws so I hope we get to see him, but on that note I was pleasantly surprised with Tyler Sturdevant for the simple fact that he has a decent slider. The Rays don’t have a great option to combat righties down there outside of the excellent Alex Colome (you want to read this) so it’s nice to see a guy that has something that can maybe hurt righties.