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Game 45 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Miami Marlins

Can the Rays salvage a series split against the Marlins ace?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays weren't able to string together back-to-back wins last night as the luck dragons decided to lend their talents to the Marlins as the Rays hit the ball hard consistently with little to show for it while the Marlins seemed to find holes everywhere on the infield, or hit little tappers that somehow stayed fair.

Regardless, the Rays suffered a 4-3 loss, with the bullpen allowing another late inning run to push the Rays into a tie for last place in the American League East with the New York Yankees with a record of 21-23 and seven games back of the division leading Boston Red Sox...with Logan Forsythe and Kevin Kiermaier both on the disabled list and key players struggling, things couldn't be much worse for the Rays right now.

TODAY'S STARTING PITCHERS:

2016 W L ERA FIP K% BB% AVG BABIP HR GS IP fWAR
Jose Fernandez 6 2 3.02 2.34 35.9% 11.1% .215 .345 3 9 53.2 1.7
Drew Smyly 2 5 3.54 3.71 28.4% 6.3% .213 .259 9 9 56.0 1.0

Drew Smyly's last start has been what we've come to expect from the Rays lefty as he wasn't awful, but wasn't too good either. He picked up his fifth loss of the year after pitching one out into the seventh as Kevin Cash tried to squeeze every out he could out of Smyly and it resulted in a homer. Smyly ended up allowing three runs on seven hits -- two homers -- while he picked up five strikeouts and walked two.

Jose Fernandez Scouting Report:

He's Jose Fernandez.

He's really good.

He has struck out 31 hitters over his last 20 innings pitched, 41% of opposing hitters

He's also just allowed two runs over that time.

His Arsenal:

PITCH AVG. VELO. FREQUENCY vs LHB vs RHB
Fastball 95.9

46.9% vs LHB

***

54.3% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Tends to stay up and in, or low and away
Sinker 93.3

6.5% vs LHB

***

0.4% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Sporadic
Change-up 88.0

25.4% vs LHB

***

3.7% vs RHB

Low and away from the zone Low and away from the zone
Curveball 84.0

20.8% vs LHB

***

41.3% vs RHB

Anywhere below the zone Low and away from the zone
Slow Curve 74.5

0.2% vs LHB

***

0.2% vs RHB

Sporadic Sporadic

His Splits:

2016 TBF wOBA AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB%
vs LHB 107 .315 .233 .358 .356 2 25.2% 15.9%
vs RHB 110 .249 .198 .264 .287 1 46.4% 6.4%
HOME 119 .280 .210 .303 .327 2 41.2% 10.1%
AWAY 98 .282 .221 .320 .310 1 29.6% 12.2%

TAMPA BAY RAYS MIAMI MARLINS
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Brandon Guyer - CF
Martin Prado - 3B Brad Miller - SS
Marcell Ozuna - CF Evan Longoria - DH
J.T. Realmuto - DH Steve Pearce - 2B
Cole Gillespie - RF Steven Souza - RF
Chris Johnson - 1B Logan Morrison - 1B
Derek Dietrich - LF Desmond Jennings - LF
Miguel Rojas - 2B Taylor Motter - 3B
Jeff Mathis - C Curt Casali - C