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Series Preview: 5/29-5/31 Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays

5/29: Scott Baker vs. James Shields (7:38 FSF)

5/30: Francisco Liriano vs. David Price (4:10 FOX)

5/31: Nick Blackburn vs. Matt Garza (1:38 SS)

Baker has improved walk and strikeout rates, but his FIP is nearly two full runs higher than last season. What gives? A 2.3 HR/9 rate and a soon-to-be-regressed 16.2% HR/FB; hopefully the Rays can keep both of those statistics intact. Baker's change and curve are the pitches being hammered so far; -1.28 runs per 100 curves and -3.80 per 100 changes.

Liriano versus Price is going to give people like Tyler spasms. Liriano has been decent, although nowhere near what most people are going to expect out of him. Homeruns have been an issue, and his FIP is 4.88. His velocity sits around 91-92 and his once glorious slider is back, but his fastball has a run value per 100 of -2.36.

And then there's Blackburn, guaranteed to drive us all insane. He Ks 4.55 per nine and walks 2.7. Most of his balls in play are on the ground, and his homerun/fly ball percentage is far too low. He's got a 3.87 FIP.  Blackburn has contrasting styles to that of Matt Garza, to say the least.

C Joe Mauer

1B Justin Morneau

2B Matt Tolbert

3B Joe Crede/Brendan Harris

SS Nick Punto

LF Delmon Young

CF Denard Span

RF Michael Cuddyer

DH Jason Kubel

The Kubel extension still makes no sense.

Pre-Cleveland: 36%

Post-Cleveland: 24%