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Rays vs Yankees Preview: Series Finale

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Alex Cobb and the Rays try to take the final game of the series against the Yankees and Michael Pineda

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees have split the first two games of the regular season with the Rays taking an Opening Day victory, but were then shutout by CC Sabathia and the Yankees bullpen during game two. Tonight, they’ll play the series finale in front of a national audience on Fox Sports One at 7pm.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb vs Michael Pineda

Alex Cobb is finally healthy.

After recovering from Tommy John Surgery and missing all of the 2015 season and most of the 2016 season, Alex Cobb will make his season debut for 2017 later tonight. Cobb did make five starts last season after an incredible first outing, he got blasted. In total, he allowed 22 runs - 21 earned - on 32 hits, including five homeruns over just 22 innings pitched.

Michael Pineda Scouting Report

Last year, Pineda set a new career for starts in a season as he finished the year at 32. He struggled with the homerun ball, but that can be attributed to Yankee Stadium as he allowed two-thirds of his homers at home. Over his 32 starts, Pineda had a 4.82 ERA and a 3.80 FIP to go along with a 27.4 K% and 7.0 BB% in just under 176 innings pitched.

Arsenal

Pineda will attack hitters with three different pitches: Change-up, Slider, and a Cutter. His cutter will come in the low to mid 90’s while his change-up and slider will range from the mid to high 80’s.

Pineda relies heavily on his cutter, throwing it over 50% of the time, regardless of who is in the batter’s box. However, against lefties, he does mix in his change-up a lot more often then he does against lefties where he hardly uses the pitch at all. Essentially, he’s a two pitch pitcher against righties, but uses all three of his pitches against lefties.

He lives in the bottom of the zone, with his change-up and slider often falling completely out of it. While he uses his cutter to paint the inner corners on hitters.

His Splits

  • vs LHB: .270/.340/.460 - .343 wOBA - 9 HR - 28.9 K% - 8.6 BB% - 336 PA
  • vs RHB: .260/.307/.463 - .328 wOBA - 18 HR - 26.2 K% - 5.7 BB% - 420 PA
  • HOME: .254/.313/.491 - .341 wOBA - 20 HR - 27.7 K% - 7.0 BB% - 372 PA
  • AWAY: .274/.331/.433 - .329 wOBA - 7 HR - 27.1 K% - 7.0 BB% - 384 PA

Times Through the Order

  • 1st: .283/.340/.471 - .347 wOBA - 9 HR - 30.2 K% - 7.3 BB% - 288 PA
  • 2nd: .244/.298/.443 - .317 wOBA - 10 HR - 26.9 K% - 5.6 BB% - 286 PA
  • 3rd: .268/.333/.482 - .347 wOBA - 8 HR - 23.9 K% - 8.9 BB% - 180 PA

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

NEW YORK YANKEES TAMPA BAY RAYS
Brett Gardner - LF Corey Dickerson - DH
Gary Sanchez - C Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Greg Bird - 1B Evan Longoria - 3B
Matt Holliday - DH Brad Miller - 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Steven Souza - RF
Starlin Castro - 2B Logan Morrison - 1B
Chase Headley - 3B Tim Beckham - SS
Aaron Judge - RF Mallex Smith - LF
Ronald Torreyes - SS Derek Norris - C
Michael Pineda - RHP Alex Cobb - RHP