Game 56 Lineups and Outlook
Note that the previous version has been updated to reflect Nick Franklin taking Brandon Guyer’s spot on the bench.
Back to back wins for the Rays over the Twins means that a win today for the Rays will constitute a streak. It has happened before. First, they need to take care of business for that to happen. They’ll be facing the unheralded Tyler Duffey who has pitched pretty well in his short career despite never having much prospect pedigree. Drew Smyly will get the nod for the Rays.
As Collette recently delved into, it is the fastball that has been holding Drew back as it has lacked some of the life and a lot of the command that he showed early on this year. Even then he was prone to the homer, and the Twins do not lack for power even with Sano on the disabled list and Plouffe out of the lineup today. Smyly will need to re-mount the horse today to look more like the guy we have seen when things are going well. I have the Rays as a slight favorite, which agrees with Vegas, and the similarities are so close that I would stay away from this game.
Getting six before the rain delay of their pen allowed the Twins to only throw Tonkin and Boshers leaving the rest of the guys relatively fresh for today’s game. The Rays cannot boast the same claim as they only got five before the stoppage before turning it over to Enny Romero for two superb innings. I guessed correctly that he would be counted upon, but the mystery only began there. Luckily, the Rays got the version that looked fully warmed up and ready to rock.
Sturdivant was next and almost got through the final two innings, but the surprising contributor ran out of gas with one out to get. This meant the Rays had to burn Colome a day after he went two innings and ten batters. Neither of these three should be available today. That means the team will need big outs from Erasmo Ramirez who has come back from the heavens a touch and will also need big outs. Same with Cedeno who might have to go 3-4 outs, which may expose him more to righties. I’d see how aggressive he is with them if the base is open or of little importance.