Game #67 Lineups and Outlook
After a tough loss last night the Rays hope to salvage the series in the finale today against Jake Peavy and his Giants. In an attempt to see which team is less than Jake the Rays will throw their own in Mr. Odorizzi. The bullpen couldn’t hold it down last night, but they’ve been so solid of late that it’s hard to get too upset. Unfortunately, the loss means the Rays streak of winning four straight series will not live to a fifth, but a win today to halt the three game losing streak would be huge as this team seeks to dig out of the basement.
So I’m a little higher on the Rays today than Vegas, but it’s pretty close. Caveat emptor and all that jazz. The top of the Rays order lives in a small band between wOBA expectations of .313 and .325, while the Giants only have one batter, Posey, who is expected to hit better than that low end threshold. Part of this is due to Odorizzi being pretty good, and a lot of it is due to Peavy not being so good anymore. He’s still tough on righties and much like our Jake he will not groove a pitch preferring to put a guy on and get the next one if he falls behind. The team will need to stay patient once he gets into this mode, take what he gives, and then feast on the mistakes.
This isn’t an awful lineup for the Rays, but it is a sign of the times as the injuries have started to add up. Take out Mahtook and sub in any one of Kiermaier, Guyer or Souza and this lineup goes from ok to pretty good. Do the same with Jennings and it probably takes another step forward. This could be a rough couple of weeks waiting for the cavalry, but every single team goes through this. Getting production from depth pieces is imperative to making the post-season. To that end the Rays will need to start getting something, anything out of the Jennings, Mahtooks and Deckers of the world or it will soon be time to light up the sale signs.
Both teams had to use their A-Team relievers last night with the Giants guys better holding up their end of the contract. A particular lowlight yesterday was the continued regression of Erasmo Ramirez from elite reliever to merely pretty good to mostly ok. It’s something I’d like to touch on in a more in depth manner, but here’s a look at his run values over the course of the year using Ian Malinowski’s excellent work:
Getting this horse back on the trail will go a long way in helping out the pen. Hopefully the addition of Matt Andriese should help, but until further research sheds some light on the why it would be foolish to speculate. The discouraging thing is that he has been a worse than average pitcher for a while after being very good to start the year.
Another game the Rays are well-positioned to get the win. Let’s see if they can actually come through.