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Rays vs Blue Jays Preview: Rays Quest to Finish April Above .500

The Rays are fixing to wrap up their toughest month against the team with the worst record in baseball

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays could have won all three games in Baltimore, but instead the Orioles managed to come from behind in two games and ultimately walked off during the final game of the series as they took two of three against the Rays, dropping Tampa Bay’s record to 11-12 on the season.

The Rays are in 4th place in the AL East, one spot above their opponent, the Toronto Blue Jays, who are off to a disastrous start to the 2017 season. Heading into play tonight, they’ve lost two in a row and have a record of 6-16, already nine games back of the division leader.

Tonight, the Rays will send Blake Snell to the mound against Toronto’s ace, Marcus Stroman with the first pitch slated for 7:07pm.

Starting Pitchers

Blake Snell worked on his mechanics his last start as he noticeably changed from his windup to pitching from the stretch multiple times during his outing, regardless of if there were runners on base. He tied his season high with five walks, while he also picked up four strikeouts. Ultimately he allowed three runs on three hits (two homers) over five innings pitched.

Marcus Stroman has made four starts in 2017, and two of those have been complete games. He has been very good so far this year, with the exception of one poor outing. His last time out was on the 23rd in Los Angeles against the Angels where he allowed two runs — one earned — on seven hits, while he walked one and struck out five in a complete game performance.

His Arsenal

Stroman has thrown six types of pitches in 2017 (fastball, sinker, cutter, slider, curveball, and a change-up). His fastball will range from the low to mid 90’s, with his cutter sitting in his low 90’s, meanwhile he breaking and off speed pitches will range from the low to mid 80’s.

His Splits

So far in 2017, righties have fared much better against Stroman as opposed to lefties. Righties are actually excelling against Stroman thus far this year in just 64 plate appearances as they have a .337 wOBA against him.

Stroman is dominant his first time facing an order, but gets significantly worse as his night goes on.