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Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day 2017: Game Preview, Lineups, and Starting Pitchers

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Chris Archer takes on Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees on Opening Day

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

IT’S OPENING DAY!

The Tampa Bay Rays are finally back after a long off-season as they’ll take on the division rival, New York Yankees with Masahiro Tanaka going to the mound for New York, while the Rays will counter with Chris Archer.

The Yankees enter the 2017 season with a slightly new look as veterans Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez have retired making way for some of the Yankees top prospects to make it into the show. However, the Yankees did have their usual off-season of acquisitions as they brought in Chris Carter and Matt Holiday, as well as bringing back Aroldis Chapman.

New York is coming off a 2016 season in which they compiled a record above .500 at 84-78, but that was only good enough fourth in the American League East. The lone team they topped in the division were the Tampa Bay Rays who finished in 5th with a 68-94 record.

Starting Pitchers

Chris Archer vs. Masahiro Tanaka

Chris Archer will be the Rays Opening Day starter for the third straight year. He is coming off a 2016 season in which he lost 19 games, but fortunately that means close to nothing if anything at all. His final numbers are the year were a 9-19 record with a 4.02 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 27.4 K%, and a 7.4 BB% over the course of 33 starts and 201 innings pitched.

Tanaka will be making his third straight Opening Day start along with Archer. In 2017, Tanaka managed to stay healthy — for the most part — as he put up his career high stateside in innings pitched and starts. He finished the year with a record of 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA and a 3.51 FIP, plus a 20.5 K% and 4.5 BB% over 31 starts and just under 200 innings pitched.

Starting Lineups