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Series Preview: 4/24-4/26 Tampa Bay Rays @ Oakland Athletics

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4/24: Scott Kazmir vs. Trevor John Cahill (10:05, SS)

4/25: Matt Garza vs. Dallas Braden  (4:05)

4/26: Andy Sonnanstine vs. Dana Eveland (4:05, FSNF)

For whatever reason, I can only recall late season trips to Oakland. Two years ago, when Justin Ruggiano was finally getting playing time - as was Jorge Velandia. And last year, when Jason Hammel ended up winning an extra innings affair that was insane. That game featured B.J. Upton ending Brad Ziegler's scoreless innings streak. Ah, memories.

 

Cahill is a pretty highly touted prospect that gets groundballs by the bushels. Unfortunately for Cahill, he's missing about 6% bats, that's not too good. Cahill's BABIP is a ridiculously low .215, even in the minors his BABIP was closer to .300 than .200. But have no fear, the Rays should be able to put some runners on because Cahill is walking nearly seven per nine and striking out less than three. As for stuff. A heavy 88 mile per hour fastball/sinker dominates Cahill's gameplan, with a slider curve, and change thrown in for good measure.

Braden is the first of two southpaws the Rays will see. He's the typical soft-throwing lefty without much in terms of stuff. 87-89 on the fastball, a slider that sits about ten ticks lower, and a change are his three pitches of choice. Braden has also been registering some cutters this season that sit about five miles off of his regular fastball. Not sure what that's about.

Oh look, a finesse starter. On the Athletics? Never! Eveland actually touches 90 consistently, and has a slider, change, and curve at his disposal. Doesn't get too many whiffs though, and he too loves having hitters pound his stuff into the ground.

C Kurt Suzuki

1B Jason Giambi/Landon Powell

2B Mark Ellis

3B Eric Chavez

SS Orlando Cabrera

LF Matt Holliday

CF Ryan Sweeney/Rajai Davis

RF Jack Cust/Davis

DH Giambi/Cust/Nomar Garciaparra

This offense has been ridiculously poor. We're talking, combined, equal to Jose Vidro's 2008 poor. In case you were unaware, Jose Vidro no longer plays baseball in large part because of 2008. Basically, what I'm saying is prepare to lose this series by being outscored by two dozen runs.