The Rays begin another crucial series in Boston tonight

The Tampa Bay Rays are in Boston tonight as they’ll take on the Boston Red Sox in game one of this three game series. The Rays must at least pick two victories this series in order to stay relevant in the ever tightening wild card race.

The Rays will have their hands full as they take on the American League East leading Red Sox, who are coming off a series victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, winning the second two games of the series. One of the victories was a 19 inning affair, but this being September, didn’t really affect the Red Sox pitching staff. They were off yesterday as well.

Checking back on the Wild Card chase, the Rays are now 3.5 games back of the Minnesota Twins, who have regained their spot as the second Wild Card holder. The Rays now have just three teams separating them from the second spot.

Starting Pitchers

Chris Archer returns tonight for the Rays after exiting his start last weekend against the Chicago White Sox early after dealing with forearm tightness. The team believes he is good to go now though as he’ll make the start. During the start against the White Sox, Archer was gone after just a few pitches (all fastballs), where he averaged just 93mph compared to his season rate of 96.

Drew Pomeranz takes the mound for the Boston Red Sox. The southpaw is having a solid year in Bean Town as he is 14-5 with a ERA/FIP of 3.36/.3.79 with 147 innings pitched over 27 starts.

He is pretty much on average when it comes to groundball and flyball percentage. As for his splits, he is a reverse splits type of pitcher as he can dominate opposing righties, while lefties have a .376 wOBA against him this season. That’s the highest mark in the American League for left-handed starting pitchers.

He tends to go with a fastball/curveball mixture against opponents, occasionally mixing in a cutter and a sinker. His curve has been his best pitch as opponents have mustered a 78 wRC+ against it this season.

Starting Lineups

Today’s Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS BOSTON RED SOX
Kevin Kiermaier – CF Dustin Pedroia – 2B
Lucas Duda – DH Andrew Benintendi – LF
Evan Longoria – 3B Mookie Betts – RF
Logan Morrison – 1B Hanley Ramirez – DH
Steven Souza – RF Mitch Moreland – 1B
Corey Dickerson – LF Xander Bogaerts – SS
Adeiny Hechavarria – SS Rafael Devers – 3B
Brad Miller – 2B Christian Vazquez – C
Jesus Sucre – C Jackie Bradley – CF
Chris Archer – RHP Drew Pomeranz – LHP


Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com