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Game 13 Notes: Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox

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The stakes could not be bigger in this match-up

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest series of the year has arrived as the Rays have the opportunity to overtake the Boston Red Sox in the division as the season winds down. The Rays will send arguably their best starter this year to the hill against the Boston offense as Drew Smyly hopes to build off his 11 strikeout performance against Baltimore.

Today's Starting Pitchers:

W L ERA FIP K% BB% AVG HR GS IP fWAR
Drew Smyly 5 2 3.11 3.91 28.0% 7.3% .228 11 12 66.2 0.9
Joe Kelly 10 6 4.82 4.18 18.8% 8.4% .273 15 25 134.1 1.2

Drew Smyly was excellent during his last his start against the Cleveland on Wednesday, as he struck out 11 Indians over seven innings. Unfortunately an ill-fated stellar catch from Logan Forsythe, turned into a two run sac-fly, while Smyly gave up an additional run prior to that. Still, just the three runs over seven innings, while allowing three hits and walking two is a great start from Smyly.

Scouting Report:

Joe Kelly came to the Sox at the 2014 trade deadline and after a mediocre finish to the year, he put up his best season in the majors during 2015. However, his 2016 has gotten off to a rocky start. His first appearance, he only lasted three innings and gave up seven runs against the juggernaut Toronto offense. His last time out was much better, as he limited the Orioles to just two runs over five innings. Something to keep an eye on with the Rays aggressive approach is how they deal with Kelly's command, which has been atrocious thus far, evidenced by 17.4 BB% over a small sample size of 46 hitters faced.

His arsenal:

PITCH VELOCITY FREQUENCY vs LHB vs RHB
Fastball Mid 90's

4.8% vs LHB

***

12.3% vs RHB

Sporadic Keeps it on the outer-half
Sinker Mid 90's

58.4% vs LHB

***

55.7% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Stays low and away in the zone
Slider High 80's

6.6% vs LHB

***

21.7% vs RHB

Low and in, off the plate Low and away, off the plate
Change Mid 80's

18.2% vs LHB

***

3.9% vs RHB

Either away from, or below the zone Low and away from the zone
Curveball Low 80's

12.0% vs LHB

***

6.5% vs RHB

Anywhere below the zone Low and away from the zone

His splits:

2015 TBF wOBA AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB%
vs LHB 298 .305 .251 .309 .393 5 19.8% 7.4%
vs RHB 289 .365 .296 .374 .463 10 17.7% 9.3%
HOME 307 .343 .286 .349 .442 6 19.9% 7.5%
AWAY 280 .325 .258 .332 .410 9 17.5% 9.3%

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS BOSTON RED SOX
Logan Forsythe - 2B Mookie Betts - RF
Logan Morrison - 1B Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Evan Longoria - 3B Xander Bogaerts - SS
Corey Dickerson - DH David Ortiz - DH
Desmond Jennings - LF Hanley Ramirez - 1B
Brad Miller - SS Travis Shaw - 3B
Steven Souza - RF Chris Young - LF
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Ryan Hanigan - C
Curt Casali - C Jackie Bradley - CF
Drew Smyly - LHP Joe Kelly - RHP