Game #64 Lineups and Outlook
Heading into this afternoon’s finale the Rays have already locked up the series following wins in each of the first two games over the Seattle Mariners. Yesterday’s war of attrition left smoldering bullpens for each side in it’s wake, but the Rays have a knight in shining armor to ride to their rescue. Blake Snell will make his second start of the year, and first at home, so today would be a good day to take a long lunch. I’m sure good seats are still available.
Making it difficult for Blake today will be the zombie-like defenders that will be playing behind him. The system does not adjust for defense, but I do not think it is a stretch to expect some deficiencies for a team that will rest Evan Longoria and attempt to cover up for Steven Souza’s trip to the disabled list. The system does know that most of these replacements are subpar when it comes to the stick where you see the Mariners having a slight edge in expected production. Snell counters their best batters with the exception of Nelson Cruz who has continued to torture the Rays every chance he gets. Getting the other guys creates some leeway to be careful with this massive slugger. I’m staying away from this one as the edge is nearly non-existent, but that could change in the next two hours.
As mentioned the bullpens were set on fire along the beach head so that nobody has any thoughts of returning home before the job was done. Garton, Strudevant and Romero should be good to go today, but all the rest saw extensive action yesterday and should probably see rest if available. Neither Diaz nor Johnson made it into the game yesterday for the M’s and I bet they could squeeze an inning out of Benoit today, but the rest of those guys could probably use a day off. Both teams will be counting on their lefty starters to go deep into the game to help alleviate this situation, which could lead to both guys going longer than they should. Whichever can ride out the storm better will probably see his team emerge victorious.