The Tampa Bay Rays continue their fight for a spot in the playoffs as the season winds down. They currently have one of the top two spots in the AL Wild Card race. Because of this, every game becomes important. Their next matchup will be on Tuesday, September 16th as they travel to Los Angeles to face the LA Dodgers for a two-game series.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays currently have an 89-62 record and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They currently hold the number two Wild Card spot in the American League. They enter this game coming off a 2-1 series win against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, clinched their division after winning the series against the Baltimore Orioles. They are currently the National League leaders with a 97-54 record and a 6-4 record in their last 10 games. They also secured home-field advantage following St. Louis’ loss to Milwaukee.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Snell
Blake Snell had to undergo surgery on July 29th following an elbow injury. He will return on Tuesday for the game against the Dodgers, and he is expected to pitch one to three innings. Snell felt really comfortable after his second rehab following the surgery. Because of this, he has been deemed ready to take the mound on their next matchup.
“It was a huge stride forward compared to the last start. I felt a lot more comfortable than I did. … Still making strides. Still getting there. I definitely feel a lot more confident where I’m at right now.’’
Snell admits that he sometimes “notices” his elbow while he is pitching, but he feels good for the most part. A factor complicating Snell’s return is that Tuesday’s game will be played under NL rules, meaning that the pitchers have to bat. Because of this, the Rays will have to use a pinch-hitter to take Snell’s place.
LA Dodgers: Ross Stripling
Ross Stripling last started against the Baltimore Orioles. He pitched three innings in which he allowed one run on back-to-back doubles. Stripling has started in 14 games and has made 15 relief appearances. He currently has a 3.40 ERA and 82 strikeouts.
The first game of the series will be on Tuesday, September 17th at 9:10 pm. The second game will be Wednesday, September 18th at 7:10 pm.