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Series Preview: Florida Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays

If you're confused by the acronym FIP, you can find a simple explanation here.

Friday, 7:10 PM: Brad Hand (5.50 FIP) vs. Wade Davis (5.31 FIP)
Saturday, 7:10 PM: Ricky Nolasco (3.55 FIP) vs. Alex Cobb (3.48 FIP)
Sunday, 1:40 PM: Chris Volstad (4.98 FIP) vs. James Shields (3.44 FIP)

Jeff Niemann is scheduled to rejoin the Rays' rotation on Monday, so this will probably be the last time we see Alex Cobb in a Rays uniform for some time. Unless Wade Davis ends up hitting the DL between now and Monday -- which I'm not discounting as a possibility -- Cobb will be sent down and won't be back again until we have another injury. He has pitched quite well in his brief time up, inducing groundballs (48%) and maintaining a decent K/BB ratio (1.7) despite not having his typical control at times.

This brief stint by Cobb has made me really excited to see more of him. And considering Cobb probably has the lowest ceiling of all the top pitchers on the Rays' Double- and Triple-A clubs (i.e. Moore, Torres, Archer), it makes me pretty darn pumped for the future of this team.

The Rays and Marlins face off this weekend for the last time this season, starting off the second round of interleague play. Thankfully we're missing Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez this weekend, getting to face the back three in the Marlins' rotation. If the Rays' pitchers can keep Mike Stanton (.376 wOBA) and Gaby Sanchez (.386 wOBA) in the park, the Rays have a great chance of winning this series.