After being swept at home by the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays will now host the division-leading Boston Red Sox in a three-game series. The Sox currently sit at 8-5, with the Rays two games behind at 6-7.
Follow this link to an interactive graph showing the matchup projections for every game.
The projections are made using a tool Jason Hanselman of Dock of the Rays and I created together. It combines regressed platoon splits based off The Book and Bojan Kaprovica's work, with Steamer projections, and uses a log5 method to calculate the matchups. Overall projections and projections vs. average lefties and righties are park-neutral (meaning everyone is on the same footing).
Projected matchups are placed in Tropicana field (so both teams are also on the same footing, but it's scaled slightly different than the overall projections). Here is the overall projections (straight Steamer in a neutral park).
Some notes on these projections:
- While projection systems like Steamer are our best bet most of the time, they work best when they have plenty of Major League data to work with. That means you should take the numbers for Tim Beckham, Allan Dykstra, Ryan Brett, Steven Souza, Sandy Leon, and Mookie Betts with even more grains of salt than you would otherwise.
- I'm tired of saying this. You're tired of hearing this. But the Rays are simply not a very good hitting team at the top of their lineup right now. Evan Longoria and Steven Souza belong there, but the bats of John Jaso and James Loney against righties are sorely missed. Once they come back, things will look less dire, but for right now, all of the Rays opponents feature better offensive players.