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Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays

All three games are 7:10 PM starts.

Monday, August 30: Brett Cecil (3.92 FIP) vs. Wade Davis (5.16 FIP)

Tuesday, August 31: Ricky Romero (3.58 FIP) vs. Jeff Niemann (4.58 FIP)

 Wednesday, September 1: Shaun Marcum (3.87 FIP) vs. David Price (3.46 FIP)

Wow...I knew the Blue Jays were getting some good years from their starters, but I didn't appreciate how good until just now. Cecil, Romero, and Marcum have all had great years, but they're arguably not even the Blue Jays's best starter; that distinction goes to Brandon Morrow with his nearly 11 strikeouts and four walks per nine (3.16 FIP). They have turned out to be one darn good team this year and if they have a productive off-season, they could enter next season as a real threat to the teams at the top of the AL East. Cecil, Romero, Marcum, and Morrow are four young, high-quality starters that will provide the Blue Jays with a core to build around in the future. 

The keys for the Rays this series will be to keep the ball in the yard. While the Blue Jays have an impressive starting rotation, their offense is all or nothing. They live and die with the homerun - they have six batters with other 15 homeruns this year - so if we can keep it in the yard, we've got a good chance to win. Thankfully, James Shields missed the Jays this time through the rotation.

We face the Blue Jays one more time this year after this series and they could prove to be a bigger thorn in our side than I'd like. The pitching match-ups don't favor the Rays in this series, but hopefully we can still steal a couple games and exit with a series victory.