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Opening Day Game Notes: Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays

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The regular season begins with Chris Archer set to take on Marcus Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

It is finally here, after 182 days since the last regular season game played by the Rays, Opening Day is here. Over those excruciatingly long six months, the Rays have added several powerful bats to their everyday line-up, they have rejuvenated their pitching staff, not with additions, but with key members returning and forming one of the most formidable pitching rotations in the league.

The ace of that rotation is Chris Archer, who will be the making the first of presumably many opening day starts of his career later today. He'll be opposed by Marcus Stroman, who is also making his first Opening Day start.

The Starting Pitchers:

Chris Archer vs Marcus Stroman

2015 Season W L ERA FIP K% BB% AVG HR GS/G IP fWAR
Marcus Stroman 4 0 1.67 3.54 17.5% 5.8% .208 2 4 27 0.5
Chris Archer 12 13 3.23 2.9 21.1% 8.8% .219 19 32 194.2 5.3

Marcus Stroman Scouting Report:

Stroman was supposed to be one of the top starting pitchers in the Blue Jays rotation last season, however, he tore his ACL during spring training and required major surgery, sidelining him until September. When he arrived, the Blue Jays were in the thick of a playoff hunt and he delivered some much needed strong pitching to help out with the juggernaut offense that Toronto had assembled.

Stroman will be beginning his third season in the majors when he takes the mound and he'll turn just 25 years old at the start of May. He has already proven he can get major league hitters out and in 2016, he could possibly bring his game to the next level.

His Arsenal:

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

2.7% vs RHB

***

6.3% vs LHB

Anywhere Anywhere
Sinker Low 90's

63.7% vs RHB

***

36.6% vs LHB

PAints the outside corner or buries it down in the zone Keeps it low and away
Slider Mid 80's

15.7% vs RHB

***

13.7% vs LHB

Sweeps it, low and in Sweeps it low and away from the zone
Curve Low 80's

15.7% vs RHB

***

13.4% vs LHB

Buries it under the zone Buries it under the zone
Change Mid 80's

0.9% vs RHB

***

15.5% vs LHB

Paints the outside corner Sporadic
Cutter Low 90's

1.4% vs RHB

***

14.6% vs LHB

Anywhere inside Sporadic

His Splits:

CAREER TBF wOBA AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB%
vs LHB 352 .276 .224 .281 .337 6 20.2% 6.8%
vs RHB 285 .278 .264 .295 .328 3 20.4% 3.5%
HOME 380 .241 .213 .250 .288 4 21.3% 4.5%
AWAY 257 .330 .287 .342 .403 5 18.7% 6.6%

Today's Lineups

Blue Jays Rays
Pillar, CF Forsythe, 2B
Donaldson, 3B Morrison, 1B
Bautista, RF Longoria, 3B
Encarnacion, DH Dickerson, DH
Tulowitzki, SS Jennings, LF
Colabello, 1B Miller, SS
Saunders, LF Souza, RF
Martin, C Kiermaier, CF
Goins, 2B Conger, C