After losing Jeff Niemann early on, the Rays dropped a chance at their first sweep of 2010; however, The Rays meatloaf'd the Baltimore Orioles in the first series of the 2010 season. The Rays will move on to host the New York Yankees for a three game set at the Trop.
4/9 LH David Price vs. RH Javier Vazquez
Tampa Bay will be the first team to welcome back Javier Vazquez back to the American League. Vazquez dominated last season in his one and done year in Atlanta. The 33-year-old had a 2.77 FIP and struck out 238 batters in 219.1 innings in 2009. He returns to the Yankees, and the AL East, after posting a 4.78 FIP for them in 2004. Rays' hitters will have to deal with his low 90s fastball and his plus curveball which earned a wCB of 17.2 last season.
In the nationally televised game on Saturday, Wade Davis will make his 2010 debut against Yankees' ace CC Sabathia. CC has struggled early on over the past two seasons with an April FIP over 4.30 the last two years. The former Cy Young award winner features a mid 90s fastball with a slider and a curveball. The Rays will load up with the right-handers in the line-up as there is a nearly a run differential in his FIP from righties to lefties (2.95 vs. LHB, 3.68 vs. RHB.
The finale will see Rays' ace James Shields go against A.J. Burnett. Similar to Matt Garza, Burnett has the stuff to throw a no-hitter or walk nine batters in a given game (or both). When he's on, his fastball lives in the high 90s, and is complemented by a hammer curveball that is nearly 15 mph slower than the fastball. He has a change-up, but has thrown it with less frequency over the past few seasons.
I'll take another two out of three please. Hey, Ma! The meatloaf! We want it now! The meatloaf!