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Game 22 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays

Aaron Sanchez looked mortal his last start, can the Rays continue that trend?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

If you were to add up all of the runs scored by the Rays and Blue Jays over their past two games this week, the total would only amount to six runs, as the Jays put up back-to-back one run efforts against the White Sox as the hard hitting Toronto Blue Jays have fallen to a slump. Over their past 10 games, they have a record of 4-6, losing three straight after being swept by the leaderless team from the south side of Chicago.

Meanwhile, the Rays are coming off a series victory of the, then division leading Baltimore Orioles, managing to suppress some of their strongest bats while not exactly lighting up the scoreboard as Tampa Bay plated just six runs over the three game set. The Rays are currently a game ahead of the Blue Jays in the division with a record of 10-11, while Toronto sits at 10-13, three and four games out of first place respectively.

Today's Starting Pitchers:

W L ERA FIP K% BB% AVG BABIP HR GS IP fWAR
Drew Smyly 1 2 2.51 2.80 30.8% 4.7% .158 .200 3 4 28.2 0.8
Aaron Sanchez 1 1 3.33 3.93 22.8% 7.9% .217 .258 3 4 24.1 0.3

Last Sunday, Drew Smyly continued his excellent start to the season as he finally picked up his much deserved, first victory of the season as he delivered seven quality innings against the Yankees, allowing just one run on six hit, striking out six and walking just one batter. Smyly has allowed just four earned runs over his last 22 innings pitched, pitching tremendously since his somewhat poor season debut against the Blue Jays.

Aaron Sanchez Scouting Report:

Sanchez was dominant over his first three starts and he continues to be just untouchable against right handed hitters. Over those first three outings, Sanchez allowed just three earned runs over 20 innings pitched. His last start however, he lasted just an out into the fifth inning as his earned run total tripled from three to nine, as he gave up six runs on 10 hits while he walked one and struck out three, picking up his first loss of the year.

His arsenal:

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

14.4% vs LHB

***

12.5% vs RHB

Either up and away, or low and in Sporadic
Sinker Mid 90's

52.8% vs LHB

***

72.7% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Anywhere in the zone
Cutter Low 90's

3.2% vs LHB

***

0.8% vs RHB

Up in the zone Has thrown just once
Change High 80's

10.8% vs LHB

***

3.9% vs RHB

Below the zone Low and away from the zone
Slider Low 80's

0.0% vs LHB

***

0.8% vs RHB

Non-existent Has thrown just once
Curveball Mid 70's

18.8% vs LHB

***

9.4% vs RHB

Low and in, off the plate Sporadic

His splits:

2016 TBF wOBA AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB%
vs LHB 64 .353 .250 .344 .464 3 21.9% 10.9%
vs RHB 37 .172 .167 .189 .194 0 24.3% 2.7%
HOME 49 .377 .296 .367 .500 2 16.3% 8.2%
AWAY 52 .202 .146 .212 .229 1 28.9% 7.7%

Today's Lineups

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Michael Saunders - LF Logan Forsythe - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Brad Miller - SS
Jose Bautista - RF Evan Longoria - 3B
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Corey Dickerson - DH
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Steven Souza - RF
Justin Smoak - 1B Logan Morrison - 1B
Russell Martin - C Brandon Guyer - LF
Kevin Pillar - CF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Ryan Goins - 2B Curt Casali - C
Aaron Sanchez - RHP Drew Smyly - LHP